‘Shun’ case hus­band,Beth Din tells shuls

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE LON­DON Beth Din has taken the un­prece­dented step of call­ing for a man to­be­banned­from­sy­n­a­gogue­sand­pub­licly shunned be­cause he has re­fused to grant his wife a reli­gious di­vorce.

In a no­tice pub­lished in to­day’s JC ( see be­low), the reli­gious judges in the Chief Rabbi’s court say United Syn­a­gogue con­gre­ga­tions should bar John Abaya­hou­dayan who has re­fused his wife, Rivka, a get for 15 years.

Peo­ple were also asked to “con­sider whether it is ap­pro­pri­ate for them to have so­cial or busi­ness con­tacts with him un­til the get is given”.

Al­though the cou­ple were civilly di­vorced in 2002, Mrs Abaya­hou­dayan, who is 48 and lives in north-west Lon­don, would be un­able to re­marry in an Ortho­dox syn­a­gogue with­out a get.

Mrs Abaya­hou­dayan, who is orig­i­nally fromGi­bral­tarand­worksi­naschool,said: “It has been a dif­fi­cult 15 years. It has gone on for too long. He has to move on with his life, I want to move on with mine.”

Mr Abaya­hou­dayan de­clined to com­ment when con­tacted by the JC.

The Lon­don Beth Din’s ac­tions have also been sup­ported by the Sephardi Beth Din.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “The Beth Din and I would like to send the strong­est pos­si­ble mes­sage that when in­di­vid­u­als abuse the ha­lachic process in a way which causes deep emo­tional and per­sonal pain and suf­fer­ing, we will do every­thing in our power to try to stop that abuse and sup­port those af­fected.”

Joanne Green­away, the Beth Din’s get case worker, said pub­li­cis­ing the case was “a last re­sort”.

Ademon­stra­tionwas­bein­gor­gan­ised on be­half of an­other agu­nah, she added.

It is not the first time the Beth Din has re­sorted to name-and-shame tac­tics. Ten years ago it placed an ad­vert crit­i­cal of a Lon­don man who had de­nied his wife a get, but with­out his pic­ture or call­ing for ac­tion against him.

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