In the last 150 years, Jewish communities worldwide have undergone dramatic transformations and upheavals. Whereas in the past, Jews often lived their entire lives in one community and felt obligated to obey local rabbinic authority, the new reality means that individuals can move around at will, and rabbis are left with little to no authority. Under these current conditions, a husband can easily refuse to give his wife a gett and expect to see few consequences. Even when local communities attempt to address the problem of gett abuse, the husband can almost always find another orthodox community that is willing to overlook his behavior.
The International Beit Din (“IBD”) was established to focus on difficult cases of gett abuse and seeks to address each case carefully and methodically. The IBD first evaluates whether there are sufficient grounds to obligate the husband to give a gett, and if this is indeed the case, all efforts are made to encourage the husband to give the gett. In cases where it is appropriate, social and communal pressure may also be applied. Only if these efforts are unsuccessful will the IBD evaluate whether there are halachic grounds to rule the marriage null and void, even without the giving of a gett.
Subscribe to our email updates