Photo: Shutterstock
Dodelson's mother is looking to help other women in similar predicaments
Photo: Shutterstock

Free at last: US agunah gets a divorce

Gital Dodelson has been campaigning for months in order for her husband to grant her a religious divorce. Now she is finally a free woman

For the past three years, New Jersey-based Gital Dodelson, a member of the Orthodox Jewish community, has been trying to get her soon-to-be ex-husband to grant her a "get," a religious divorce. In certain orthodox circles, this procedure is absolutely necessary for a divorce to be deemed official in the eyes of the community.



Dodelson has, for the past few months, been relentless in her campaign to divorce Avrohom Meir Weiss, telling her story to the New York Post, and subsequently, the world.


Now, the 25-year-old Dodelson is finally a free woman.


Her publicist, Shira Dicker, confirmed the news by telling the Post that Dodelson's mom Saki called her, giggling with relief.


Dodelson is currently a law student at Rutgers, and lives in Lakewood, New Jersey. She and Weiss have a son together and were legally divorced in 2012, two years after they separated. However, because of Weiss' refusal, she was still considered a married woman as a member of the Orthodox community, and that was really all that mattered to her.


“On paper, I am a free woman,” she said in her initial interview with The Post in November. “But this means nothing in Halacha, and I’m still imprisoned by my husband to this day.”


Weiss had reportedly asked for excessive amounts of money (over $350,000) in order to grant Dodelson's wish.


Following that first interview, Dodelson's story was constantly in the headlines, and an outburst of public support came her way, including a Facebook group, “Free Gital: Tell Avrohom Meir Weiss to Give His Wife a ‘Get,’” with over 14,000 supporters around the world.


Why Weiss, who comes from a family of respected rabbis and scholars, finally changed his mind has not been confirmed, but can likely be attributed to all the negative press he and his associates have been receiving.


According to Dicker, Dodelson's mother is looking to start a nonprofit to help other women who find themselves in similar predicaments. “The family isn’t just skipping into the sunset,” she said. “There’s a real sense of responsibility here.”


Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life


פרסום ראשון: 02.10.14, 09:17
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