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Virtual Event Virtual Event


March 13 - March 26

Virtual Event Virtual Event

In Israel, no Jewish divorce is complete without the man literally giving the woman back her freedom. The film follows several such “chained” women and their religious lawyer, Batya, as they embark on a struggle against the rabbinical courts. Film is part of the Israel@75 Birthday Series

Zoom Conversation (March 22, 7 pm): Dr. Smadar Ben-Natan, affiliate faculty at UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies and Israeli human rights lawyer and Rabbi Moshe Kletenik, head of the Pacific Northwest Regional Beth Din speak with Prof. Mika Ahuvia of UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies. Included with pass/ticket purchases, or register here >>

Streaming Window: March 13-26

More on DIVORCE DENIED (מסורבות)

David Ofek and Mia Webb | Documentary | Israel | 2019 | Hebrew w/English subtitles | 59m | PG-13

In Israel, marriage and divorce are not the province of civil courts but of the religious courts. According to Jewish law, only a husband can grant a divorce (called a “get”) to his wife. Even in cases where couples have been separated for several years, religious courts can only pressure the husband but cannot compel him to agree to a divorce. Batya Kahana Dror is an Orthodox woman who advocates for wives denied a divorce. We follow her as she navigates the cases of three clients, Sarah, Noa, and Oshrat. Ofek and Webb’s intimate, fly-on-the-wall documentary movingly recounts the protagonists’ multi-year struggles to terminate their marriages, even from husbands who cannot consent or live abroad beyond the reach of court sanctions. Kahana Dror comes across as hugely sympathetic and resourceful in her attempts to help her clients in the face of an unfair and, at times, even corrupt system.

Director Bio

Born in Ramat Gan, Israel, in 1968, David Ofek graduated from Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in 1992. His graduation documentary HIGH-TECH DREAMS won the 1993 Jerusalem Film Festival Best Short award. Today Ofek is one of Israel’s leading and most prolific documentary and television series creators. His full-fledged body of award-winning works (with Yossi Madmoni and individually) include: BAT YAM – NEW YORK, NO. 17, MELANOMA MY LOVE, THE ULPAN, MINIMUM WAGE, and HOUSE CALL. View official bio on IMDB.

Writer Bio:

Mia Webb is a documentary scriptwriter, editor, and developer. She has worked as a content editor at CoPro and on many film productions. View official on IMDB.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Smadar Ben-Natan is an affiliate faculty at UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, where she teaches on law and religion in Israel. She specializes in law and society and human rights in Israel/Palestine and has been a longtime Israeli human rights lawyer. She is the co-founder of Gun Free Kitchen Tables, the first Israeli gender-related gun control initiative, and has worked with various NGOs in Israel and has litigated high-profile cases in the Israeli Supreme Court gender and other human rights issues. She appeared on national media, and published op-eds and blog posts on various platforms.

Dr. Mika Ahuvia is the Herbert L. & Lucia S. Pruzan Chair in Jewish Studies and the Director of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University and publishes on gender and rabbinic literature, ancient ritual-magic, and late antique archaeology. She is the author of On My Right Michael, On My Left Gabriel: Angels in Ancient Jewish Culture (University of California Press, 2021).

Rabbi Moshe Kletenik is the Av Beit Din, Head of the Religious Court, of the Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle, the Pacific Northwest Regional Beth Din. Previously, he served as a pulpit rabbi and is widely recognized as an authority of Jewish law and is internationally renowned as an expert in Jewish Medical Ethics, lecturing at numerous international conferences and serving on several Medical Ethics Boards. Rabbi Kletenik is on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and its National Committee on Conversions, earlier having served as the National President. Locally he serves on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, the Holocaust Emergency Assistance Committee of Jewish Family Service, and is a member of the Professional Advisory Committee at the Kline Galland Center.

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Virtual SJCC Event
Mercer Island, WA 98040 United States
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Stroum JCC
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