“We felt we had to sign for our children’s sake”
Yad La’isha launched a special “prenuptial-signing” event this week. The organization’s Director: “These signed agreements will drastically reduce the incidence of get-refusal.”
In recent weeks, the public has been exposed to what is termed “get-refusal” through the story of Mazal Dadon (Attias), who finally received the much sought-after get (Jewish divorce) following legal and public pressure.
However, there are still hundreds of women imprisoned in marriage, who have been refused a get by their husbands and consequently cannot continue with their lives.
As part of the fight against get-refusal and in order to prevent future cases, the organization Yad La’isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline, under the auspices of Ohr Torah Stone, recently launched an event promoting the signing of prenuptial agreements, or as they are called – “the Israeli Addendum to the Ketuba.”
The event took place in the Gula Cultural Center at the First Station compound in Jerusalem and was attended by dozens of couples, already married and not yet, who wished to show their love for the cause and protest against get-refusal and the phenomenon of recalcitrant spouses. After sitting down and receiving detailed explanations from the women lawyers and rabbinical court advocates who staff Yad La’isha – where they provide legal representation to women who are subject to recalcitrant husbands and imprisoned in hopeless marriages – the couples signed the prenuptial addendum.
“The Israeli Addendum to the Ketuba” is, in fact, a prenuptial agreement intended to foil get-refusal. The agreement was drawn up on the basis of the rabbinical advocates’ vast experience from hundreds of cases in which women were victims of get-refusal. The objective now is to make these prenuptial agreements the norm, and in so doing drastically reduce the number of people who are victims of get-refusal.
Professor Chana Kehat and her husband, Rabbi Baruch, who attended the event and jointly signed the prenuptial agreement said, “When we were married such an agreement did not exist, and there was definitely no awareness of the topic. This evening presented an opportunity for us to come and sign, and practice what we have always preached to our children – that one doesn’t get married without signing a prenuptial agreement. We are hoping that it will now become common practice, and that every couple that gets married will sign, just as the Ketuba is signed under the Huppah.”
Yoni and Limor Riskin, who came to sign the agreement after 22 years of marriage, said, “We have not thought about it till now, but the minute the whole issue of potential get-refusal came up, we decided to sign. We felt that it’s something we must do not only for ourselves but for future generations as well. We just took some pictures at the signing event and sent them off to our children in order to invoke them into asking us what it’s all about it. We want them to be aware, in the hope that it will become part of the norm.”
Pnina Omer, Director of Ohr Torah Stone’s Yad La’isha center, arrived at the signing event as well and concluded as follows: “We have the ability to change reality and drastically reduce the incidence of get-refusal. The Israeli Addendum to the Ketuba is a prenuptial agreement rendering get-refusal impossible, and it is our duty to make it accessible to every couple marrying under Jewish Law, until it becomes an integral part of the marriage ceremony.”