A call for equality

A call for equality

The National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section will be observing the seventh International Agunot Day Feb. 25 – a day designated to call attention to the urgent need to address the denial of legal equality in marriage of Jewish women in Israel. NCJW urges its members to call on the Israeli government, the Knesset, and religious community leaders to find legal, just and moral solutions to this situation.

Under religious law, a Jewish women may not receive a final writ of divorce, a “get,” without her husband’s consent. These agunot are unable to remarry or bear legitimate children. This situation affects not only Jewish women in Israel but Jewish women worldwide who wish to terminate marriages that are sanctioned by rabbinical courts. The National Council of Jewish Women sees withholding a Jewish divorce as a serious violation of a woman’s freedom.

Agunot Day is observed on the Fast of Esther to highlight the contributions to Jewish life made by Jewish women. As we read in the Megilla on Purim, Queen Esther rescued the entire Jewish community from a death sentence and yet was herself subject to this denial of legal autonomy. The National Council of Jewish Women seeks the right of all Jews to live free of oppression.