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Jewish Woman Rescued from Muslim Quarter

A Jewish woman has been rescued from an abusive marriage in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/21/2012, 12:17 PM

Muslim women in Jerusalem's Old City
Muslim women in Jerusalem's Old City
Flash 90

A Jewish woman has been rescued from a years-long abusive marriage in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, activists with the Lehava anti-assimilation organization report. Lehava head Bentzi Gopstein spoke to Arutz Sheva following the rescue.

The woman, “A,” reached out to Lehava after a friend of hers had been rescued from a similar abusive marriage with the group’s help.

“The friend was helped in rehabilitation by Rabbanit Baranes… She told ‘A’ about us, and that’s how we succeeded in helping her,” Gopstein said. The assistance provided by Lehava extended to 'A'’s small children, who are three and five years old and returned to the Jewish community along with their mother.

Women who return to Judaism after marriages to Muslim men face bureaucratic problems changing their personal status, Gopstein noted. According to Israeli law, a Jewish woman who marries a Muslim man and registers as Muslim must obtain a Muslim divorce before re-registering as Jewish, he explained.

“According to halacha [Jewish law – ed.] she’s considered Jewish without this, but the rabbinic court must follow state law,” he said. “It was very hard for us to get the divorce from the Muslim court. The Arab man agreed to give her a divorce only after getting financial compensation.”