Using New Criminal Laws Against Coercive Control to Combat Get Abuse: Lessons from the Field

A series of online workshops organized by the Boston Agunah Task Force, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, JOFA, and Cheirut

March 22nd, 2022

March 29th and April 5th, 2022

In jurisdictions around the world, a new tactic has been developed in the fight against domestic violence. It aims to provide remedies not only for discrete acts of physical violence but also for patterns of conduct that aim to control a victim’s actions, limit their freedom and undermine their sense of self. A series of cases brought by agunah advocates in England have successfully invoked this new law to aid women being denied a divorce under Jewish law. This series will explore the new legal and political strategies behind this initiative and the possibilities for using similar approaches in the United States.

Panel 1: “Coercive Control” and Get abuse in the United Kingdom

WATCH HERE

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Moderator

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe is the Shulamit Reinharz Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University.

Panelists:

Anthony Metzer QC

Anthony Metzer QC is Head of Chambers of Goldsmith Chambers, a leading multi-disciplinary set, and has a door tenancy at Exchange Chambers.

Joanne Greenaway

Joanna Greenaway is the Chief Executive of the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS). 


Panel 2: Possibilities for Using “Coercive Control” to Fight Get Abuse in the United States

WATCH HERE

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Moderator

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe is the Shulamit Reinharz Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University.

Panelists:

Esther Macner, Esq.

Esther Macner,, Esq., is the founder and president of Get Jewish Divorce Justice, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles, CA. 

Erin Bistricer, Esq.

Erin Bistricer, Esq., is a Senior Staff Attorney for Sarah's Voice, a legal project of Shalom Task Force that provides free legal services to New York domestic violence victim-survivors from the Orthodox Jewish community. 

Keshet Starr, Esq.

Mrs. Keshet Starr, Esq., is the Executive Director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA), the nonprofit organization addressing the agunah (Jewish divorce refusal) crisis on a case-by-case basis worldwide. 


Panel 3: Considering the Halachic Implications of Relying on “Coercive Control” Laws to Fight Get Abuse

WATCH HERE

Layah Lipsker, Moderator

Layah Lipsker is the Director of the Boston Agunah Task Force.

Panelists:

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is Dean of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership, Rosh Beit Midrash of its Summer Beit Midrash Program and a member of the Boston Beit Din.   Rabbi Klapper is a founding member of the Boston Agunah Taskforce, a project of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann

Rabbi Weissmann is the Menahel (Director) of the Beth Din of America in NY. 

Rachel Levmore

Dr. Rachel Levmore is a Rabbinical Court Advocate with  and Director of the Agunot and Get -Refusal Prevention Project, International Young Israel Movement in Israel and The Jewish Agency.