- Amendment of the The Spouses (Property Relations) Law 1973. In November 5th 2008, the amendment of the law relating to the Division of Assets of Divorced Couples, drafted and initiated by ICAR, passed its final vote by a large majority in the Knesset. This is a historical amendment and one which we fought for for over 5 years.
Until the amendment, when a couple in Israel that married after 1973, decided to divorce, the actual division of assets could not be completed until the divorce was completed and the get (bill of divorce) was granted by the religious court. In many cases, it was possible to divide the couple's real estate, e.g. their apartment, before the get is completed. However, other assets, such as bank accounts could not be divided. Of particular concern were bank accounts and pension funds that were listed under the names of one of the parties, usually the husband.
During the period before the get is granted, the woman is often placed in a precarious position, and needs immediate funds for her and her children in order to set up an independent household. Selling a house can take a long time and is not a realistic immediate solution for raising funds. In the event that the husband refused to grant a get to his wife, and the process took a long time, the wife was often blackmailed by her husband to give up on her legal rights to the jointly
held property in order to receive a get. Moreover, the husband had a negative incentive to grant the get as the joint property registered in his name would be divided at that time.
The amendment to the Law:
The amendment to the law allows for the division of assets before the granting of the get in cases where the proceedings have dragged on more than 9 months. In cases of domestic violence, the Family Court or the Rabbinical Court could divide the assets at an earlier date.
We believe that by allowing the division of assets before the get is granted, the blackmail during divorce will be significantly reduced.
This amendment was in no way contrary to Jewish Law, and there were many orthodox rabbis who supported this amendment include Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat and Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Hesder in Petach Tikva.
On November 5th 2008, the amendment passed its third and final round of voting by a large margin thus changing the law.
- Ensuring the appointment of a minimum of four women on the panel that appoints rabbinical court judges (2013). Now the government, the Knesset and the Bar Association must appoint at least one woman out of their two allocated representatives, in a addition to the appointment of an 11th member to the committee - a femal rabbinical court pleader - by the Justice Minister.
- Transparency in the work of the Committee for the appointment of Rabbinical Court Judges.;
- The appointment of suitable Rabbinical Court Judges to the regional courts;
- Raising the public awareness to the plight of Agunot and Mesuravot Get;
- The spreading influence of our Study Day project regarding possible solutions within Jewish Law to the problem of Agunot and Mesuravot Get;