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Rabbis Diana Villa and Monique Goldberg are Research Fellows of Center for Women in Jewish Law, Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies

The Center for Women in Jewish Law, established in 1999 at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies with a grant from the Ford Foundation, aims to find halakhic solutions to the problem of modern-day agunot (anchored women) who are refused a get (religious divorce) from their husbands. 

The Center for Women in Jewish Law, since its inception in 1999, has worked towards formulating alternative legal approaches concerning the rights of Jewish women, most notably agunot , women whose husbands refuse them a writ of divorce and whose cases have dragged on in Israeli rabbinic courts; monitoring rabbinical court decisions and publishing academic and popular works to educate the public concerning the rights and status of women within Jewish tradition. These alternative approaches are available and accepted by many Jewish legal authorities.

The Center has published seven issues of Jewish Law Watch, (Hebrew and English) which offers halakhic solutions to actual agunot cases which have languished for years in the rabbinical courts without resolution. Through its new popular series, To Learn and To Teach, Center researchers deal with the halakhic status of women in the synagogue. Issues include The Mehitzah in the Synagogue and Aliyot for Women. Future issues will deal with Women as Shelihot Tzibbur and in the Minyan , and Pre-nuptial Agreements. Each booklet is simultaneously published in Hebrew, English, French, Spanish and Russian.

Rabbi Professor David Golinkin, halakhic scholar and President of the Schechter Institute, directs the program. Rabbis Diana Villa and Monique Susskind Goldberg are senior researchers at the Center. Rabbbi Israel Warman, a lecturer at Schechter, acts as halakhic advisor. All are graduates of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary.

The Center for Women in Jewish Law is a member of I.C.A.R. - The International Coalition for Agunah Rights.


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