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Agunah & Get Refusal:Prevention and Intervention

Biography

As an active Rabbinical Court Advocate since 1995, Rachel Levmore has specialized in cases of Iggun and Get -Refusal heard by the Israeli Rabbinical Courts. In January 2000 she became the first woman to join the "Agunot Unit" in the Directorate of the Israeli Rabbinical Courts. She is the Coordinator for Matters of Iggun and Get-Refusal, in an International Young Israel Movement – Israel Region project sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel. In that capacity she has helped hundreds of women attain their freedom from the untenable chains that bound them. Rachel resolves difficult cases of husband disappearance and of Get-Refusal in Israel and in the Diaspora. She is in close contact with Chief Rabbis, Rabbinical Courts and community Rabbis the world-over. Rachel was one of a team that developed a Prenuptial Agreement for the Prevention of Get-Refusal, which relates to problems peculiar to Israeli society, while still valid for world-wide application. This unusual agreement, which anchors modern day's philosophy of partnership and mutual respect in the halakha, is being signed and ratified in Israel today. Her extensive research in the subject of Prenuptial Agreements for the Prevention of Get-Refusal has been documented in her Master's thesis in the Talmud Department of Bar-Ilan University. Through her lectures and discussion groups held in Israel and abroad, she raises the awareness of the Jewish world regarding the subject of women's status and self-actualization in Judaism, specifically addressing the complexity of Jewish divorce today.

Dr. Rachel LevmoreThis project, coordinated by Ms. Rachel Levmore, provides assistance to all Jews who are in need of help in achieving a Jewish divorce, male or female, from every walk of life, from Israel and from abroad. The coordinator is a lone voice in the bewildering maze of the Israeli Rabbinical Courts, calling for and affecting the development of solutions to the problems of people in desperate straits. The coordinator is recognized by the Rabbinical Judges as someone who can assist them in achieving resolution of cases in an halachic manner, where they had been formerly stymied.

She is also trusted by the "establishment', which facilitates her involvement in the development and application of far-reaching solutions to the agunah problem. The "Prisoner Project" within the Directorate of the Israeli Rabbinical courts, which was built up and is maintained by this project, is continually reaping successes in convincing prisoners to free their wives.

This facet alone would not exist if not for this project. The general populace, as well, has recognized the efficacy of this project, with pleas for assistance reaching the Coordinator from women in every strata of Israeli society in Israel and aboard.

The influence of this project is felt by those concerned with alleviating the anguish of difficult divorces whether on a personal or institutional level, in Israel and aboard, while having resolved specific cases which were heretofore considered lost causes. In addition, it provides a model for the betterment of women's status, actively involving women in the judicial process including in the Orthodox stream.

Programs are sponsored in part by the International Young Israel Movement – Israel Region and the Jewish Agency for Israel