Ease the Pain of Agunot – Adopt an Aguna or a Toenet

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous challenges for everyone across the globe, for agunot, women who have suffered in abusive marriages and were already under tremendous stress, the pandemic only exacerbated their struggles.

As the largest organization in the world helping agunot, Yad La’isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center & Hotline has been with them every step of the way, using every means available to advance their cases while providing constant therapeutic support to help them navigate this incredibly challenging time. Since our founding in 1997, Yad La’isha has helped nearly 1,000 women obtain their freedom and rebuild new lives for themselves and their children.

The Facts:

  1. Yad La’isha provides free legal advice to over 600 women each year.
  2. We provide expert legal representation to approximately 150 agunot (from Israel and around the world) each year in the rabbinical courts.
  3. We provide private detectives to find husbands who have disappeared, and work with the courts to arrest recalcitrant spouses, and impose legal sanctions on family members who are helping recalcitrant spouses withhold a
  4. Each client is matched with a Yad La’isha social worker, who provides individual counseling, connection to support groups, assistance accessing relevant benefits and referrals to tailored coaching to help agunot gain professional skills or improve their parenting.
  5. Thanks to generous donor support, Yad La’isha has provided supermarket vouchers and food packages to 40 agunot who have lost jobs and faced major financial struggles during the pandemic – enabling them to feed themselves and their children during this incredibly difficult time.
  6. Yad La’isha recently embarked on the most widespread campaign ever initiated in Israel to raise awareness about the importance of signing a halakhic prenuptial agreement – a major tool to reduce the number of agunot and prevent women from facing long, drawn out battles to win their freedom.

We would like to ask for your help to alleviate the aguna crisis. Here is what you can do:

“Adopt” an aguna through Yad La’isha – Commit to donating $1,800 from your Rabbinic Discretionary Fund. Your support will provide a legal advocate to work through the courts and a social worker to provide individual counseling to one aguna, as well as a private detective, if necessary, to track down the husband. We will send you a special certificate acknowledging your partnership with us. You will receive quarterly reports on your adopted aguna’s progress, and we all look forward to the most exciting call of all: letting you know that your aguna has been freed! 


 With a donation of $5,000, you can adopt a legal advocate – To’enet Rabbani – and support compassionate legal representation for agunot within the complex Rabbinical Court system, which includes developing creative solutions to move even the most difficult cases forward, working with Israeli police and international authorities as needed and with private investigators to track down spouses. We will send you a certificate acknowledging your special partnership with us. You will receive quarterly reports on your adopted legal advocate, To’enet Rabbani. Sponsoring one of our legal advocates will have an impact on all the agunot she represents. 

For questions and to discuss your partnership in this important endeavor, please contact Dori Zofan at dorizofan@ots.org.il or 212-935-8672.


Participating Shuls

Beth Jacob Congregation of Oakland

Rabbi Gershon Albert

Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine

Rabbi Yisroel Ciner

Agudath Sholom

Rabbi Daniel Cohen

Young Israel of North Beverly Hills

Rabbi Pini Dunner

Netivot Shalom

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot

Young Israel of Scarsdale

Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern

Congregation Ohab Zedek

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Kesher Israel

Rabbi Hyim Shafner

Congregation Shaarei Tefillah

Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels

Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

Shaarei Shomayim Congregation

Rabbi Chaim Strauchler