Is­raeli rab­bis seek­ing UK­man over­get

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

A BRI­TISH man is be­ing hunted by Is­rael’s rab­binic courts, which be­lieve he has fled abroad af­ter fail­ing to is­sue his wife with a get, a re­li­gious cer­tifi­cate of di­vorce.

An­thony Kur­rant, orig­i­nally from North Lon­don, has not been seen by his wife Orly Zig­don, from Ne­tanya, for more than a year.

Last month the Ne­tanya Beth Din sent an emis­sary to Bri­tain in search of Mr Kur­rant, be­liev­ing he might be in the UK.

Ms Zig­don, 35, has been de­clared an agu­nah — a chained wife — by the Is­raeli rab­binate. Un­der Jewish law, with­out a get she can­not re­marry. In Is­rael, there is no civil di­vorce, only re­li­gious di­vorce and mar­riage.

“It’s very hard to be in my sit­u­a­tion,” she said this week. “ I want any­one who reads this to help me find him. I don’t want money… I just want a di­vorce. I hope to re­marry one day and have more chil­dren.”

Mr Kur­rant’s brother David, who lives in Es­sex and says he has not spo­ken to him since last Novem­ber, said: “I don’t know of his where­abouts. We would like to find out our­selves.” Mr Kur­rant, 50, a lec­turer in phys­i­cal ther­apy, mar­ried Ms Zig­don in Is­rael in 1999 and, af­ter liv­ing in the States, they went to Is­rael. They have a seven-year-old, Liri Louise, who has a se­vere neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der and does not speak or walk by her­self.

The cou­ple sep­a­rated in 2004. Al­though Ms Zig­don, who had ap­plied for a get, ob­tained an or­der for Mr Kur­rant not to leave Is­rael, the Beth Din said ear­lier this year that they be­lieved he had “es­caped the coun­try”.

David Kur­rant ex­plained that the Beth Din had made An­thony “cer­tain prom­ises to sort out key is­sues in­clud­ing prop­erty” but had then told him they were not pre­pared to do that un­til af­ter the get was is­sued.

“He felt that… they didn’t care,” David Kur­rant said. “I be­lieve the rab­binate in Is­rael are a de­spi­ca­ble bunch who re­ally need to look at how they op­er­ate and af­fect peo­ple’s lives.”

In Oc­to­ber, the Beth Din dis­patched Rabbi David Ein­horn to the UK.

An agu­nah ex­pert with many years’ ex­pe­ri­ence, who has used Mos­sad con­tacts to trace miss­ing hus­bands, Rabbi Ein­horn sought the in­ter­ven­tion of Rabbi Ye­hu­dah Black of Ken­ton United Syn­a­gogue, where An­thony Kur­rant’s mother and sis­ter are mem­bers.

Rabbi Black said this week that he had re­layed his con­cern to the fam­ily that “we have a sit­u­a­tion of agu­nah. Ob­vi­ously, there are two sides to the story. They have to sit round the ta­ble and ne­go­ti­ate. If some­body is run­ning around the world, it is dif­fi­cult.”


Orly Zig­don (with daugh­ter Liri Louise) seeks her es­tranged hus­band

An­thony Kur­rant

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