October 13, 2003 – The Jerusalem-based organization Mavoi Satum announces the establishment of the Targum Shlishi Legal Aid Fund for Agunot. The fund will allow Mavoi Satum to expand the legal services it offers to agunot and mesuravot throughout Israel – women whose husbands have either disappeared or who will not grant a get (a Jewish writ of divorce).
Founded in 1996, Mavoi Satum, which translates literally as “Dead End,” is a leading voice calling for justice, compassion, and change in the struggle of agunot and mesuravot get. The refusal to give a get is an act of control by an abusive husband, as it keeps the woman legally bound to the husband. Many women give up child support, property, and even child custody—and some even pay large sums in extortion—to receive the get. Mavoi Satum aids agunot through direct support and empowerment programs. The organization also works to increase public awareness of this problem throughout Israel and advocates for change in the judicial system.
“We are very excited about working with Targum Shlishi and grateful for the foundation’s generous donation,” notes Judith Garson Djemal, co-chair of Mavoi Satum. “Having the funds to help women through the legal process is tremendously beneficial to these women. The get has, unfortunately, become a tool by which men can attempt to run away from their responsibilities and extort money, property, and custody from their wives. Women have to fight back. Good legal representation is essential if women are to obtain their freedom.”
Since its founding, Mavoi Satum has helped more than seventy women obtain divorces, and has helped countless more through its education and advisory programs. Targum Shlishi’s funding will allow the organization help at least ten additional women through the legal process in the upcoming year.
“The problems faced by agunot and mesuravot get are unacceptable—change must occur legally and culturally so that women don’t have to fight for liberty,” notes Aryeh Rubin, director and co-founder of Targum Shlishi. “We are pleased to join forces with Mavoi Satum in supporting these women and fostering awareness that we hope will lead to change,” he adds.
Targum Shlishi is a Miami-based philanthropic organization dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on Targum Shlishi, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org.