Unchain My Heart Campaign

ICJW promoted the Get your Gett International Agunah Day Campaign, focusing on March 9 – the date of the Fast of Esther, which was chosen because it symbolizes Jewish women campaigning for their rights.

In honour of International Agunah Day on the Fast of Esther (March 9, 2020), Jewish organisations around the world united to provide support and assistance to help chained women (Agunot) to apply for their Gett, with the slogan Get Your Gett.  A Jewish woman who has only obtained a civil divorce is still considered married according to Jewish Law. The Get Your Gett campaign encourages such women to unchain themselves by getting their Gett (religious divorce document).

The refusal to grant a religious divorce is a violation of human rights and the ideals of equality, personal freedom, marriage, and happiness.  The consequences for the chained women include the inability to remarry in a Jewish ceremony without a Gett, and the risk of subsequent children becoming mamzerim (illegitimate) for ten generations.

In promoting this campaign, ICJW stands alongside NCJW Australia, Mavoi Satum, ORA, Go Getters in South Africa, Get Jewish Divorce Justice, Kolech, Agunah and Her Get, Itim, WIZO Australia, Emunah Australia, World Emunah, IYIM, Tzohar Rabbis, Shalom Bayit, Chochmat Nashim.

The Get Your Gett  campaign was initiated by  the Unchain My Heart coalition. ICJW’s Australian affiliate NCJWA is an active member .  ICJW  has campaigned to help Agunot since 1929. Susie Ivany, Chair of the ICJW Committeee on the Status of Women in Jewish Law founded this Coalition as a result of her work with ICJW. The campaigners point out that the issues facing modern day Agunot are different from those of earlier times. In the past, women generally became Agunot as a result of men disappearing in war without witnesses. Today, recalcitrant husbands are alive but refuse to provide the Gett to women.

ICJW has a long history of championing the cause of chained women, with a long-standing campaign to encourage the rabbis to find a halachic solution to the problem of Agunot. There have also been attempts to alleviate the situation via civil law.

Click here to read about Re-envisioning Jewish Commitment and Marriage for the 21st Century – a 4-unit online study course by Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy on the ICJW website.

To date, the most successful solution has been through prenuptial agreements, whereby a couple about to get married undertake to grant a Gett should the marriage fail. The Get Your Gett  campaign is designed to help women and men who are separated or civilly divorced to pursue their husbands and insist on their right to a religious divorce.

Click here to join the campaign on Facebook and please share it with your community.

#getyourgett campaign

If you have only obtained a civil divorce, you are still married according to Jewish Law. We encourage you to unchain yourself and get your Gett. In honour of International Agunah Day, Jewish organisations around the world are uniting to provide support and assistance: