Clarifying agunah issues

Clarifying agunah issues

In response to Rabbi Jachter’s comment in your article on the agunah study (October 28), I believe that it is important to clarify a few points:

• The press release regarding the study specifically referred to those “Rabbis [who] have taken a commendable proactive role in supporting agunot….” Obviously, Jachter is one such rabbi and the community is more than gratified by his efforts.

• The agunah study is not focused on the rabbinic community or the halachic process. It is a socioeconomic study only. I would hope that rabbinic comments would revolve around the troubling data therein and how to move forward to help agunot on a day-to-day basis.

• Whether Jachter believes there are agunot in Bergen County, Riverdale, and the Five Towns, the fact remains that the study showed 462 North America agunot over the last five years, and it included data received from organizations in New Jersey, Brooklyn, and NYC.

• A couple of ultra-orthodox agunah-related organizations were asked to participate in the study. They refused. Our numbers certainly do not reflect just the ultra-Orthodox; they include the modern Orthodox, as well.