Israeli rabbis seeking UKman overget
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