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About Yad L'Isha

In 1997, the Monica Dennis Goldberg School of Ohr Torah Stone Institutions established a Legal Aid Center and Hotline, staffed entirely by graduates of the School of Advocacy to offer free legal advice and representation to women who would otherwise have nowhere to turn.

Divorcing in Israel is not always straightforward: the religious courts have exclusive jurisdiction over marriage and divorce which means that a husband must freely grant a divorce to his wife.

Husbands, sometimes exploit their power by demanding  custody of the children, rights to the marital home or huge sums of money as concessions in exchange for the get.  Others simply refuse to grant the get – as a result of mental illness, jealousy, revenge or simple maliciousness. The chained women, who remain locked in dead or abusive marriages against their will for the best, most productive period of their lives are called agunot, which means, literally, "chained" or "anchored women.” Held hostage by their husbands, prevented from forging new relationships and unable to bear children, they are the vulnerable double-victims of their husbands’ recalcitrance and  rabbinical judges who are not always equipped to help them.

 
It is estimated that there are currently hundreds, if not thousands, of agunot in Israel. Many of these women do not have the financial or emotional means, the legal representation, the social clout or the political influence to attain their freedom on their own.
The Yad L’isha Legal Aid Center and Hotline was established specifically to represent and release these women. 
 

A Helping Hand
The name “Yad L’isha,” literally which means “A helping hand for women” and figuratively “Power to Women,” reflects the Center’s dual objectives.
The primary goal of the Yad L’isha Legal Aid Center and Hotline is to release as many agunot as possible from their recalcitrant husbands, providing them with the professional legal representation in the rabbinical courts that will win them the freedom they need  to embark upon productive and independent lives. Technically, the Yad L’isha Legal Aid Center’s goal is to release their clients from the bonds of marriage; in reality, what they are doing is saving women’s lives, reclaiming their wombs, their children, their property and their freedom. 
it is crucial to note that winning a case is itself comprised of a series of victories: each time an advocate overcomes an unreasonable demand from the husband, the courts or a governmental agency, refuses to succumb to extortion on financial or child-custody issues, is accepted for an appeal, convinces the court to issue a chiyyuv get (ordering the husband to grant the divorce), imprisons a recalcitrant husband or imposes sanctions on him represents success.

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 facebook   |   Yad L'isha Hotline: 1800-200-380   |   Email: yadlaisha@yadlaisha.org.il        

 

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