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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Data Released On Israel Divorce Rate

The Rabbinic Court Administration in Israel released its 2006 country-wide data on divorce, and there are some very interesting findings.

First, from JPost:
In general, there are fewer divorces among religious Jews than among secular couples. But in Jerusalem, a predominantly religious city, there was a sharp 10.4 percent rise in divorces in 2006 compared to the previous year.

The jump in the number of Jewish divorces in Jerusalem to 1,471 exceeded the nationwide rise of 3.8% to 9,963, according to data released by the Rabbinic Court Administration Monday.

In an attempt to explain the surprising divorce data, Rabbi Yitzhak Ralbag, Jerusalem's marriage registrar, said that more religious couples were getting divorced.

"I see it even among haredim when they come to register for marriage," said Ralbag. "More and more requests to marry are being made by haredi divorcees. Once it was an embarrassment. But things are gradually changing. It is no longer a stigma for a haredi person to be divorced."

Secular Tel Aviv's divorce numbers also rose but at a more moderate rate. Some 3,007 Jews chose to end their marriages in 2006, a 4.4% rise from 2005.
The rising rate of divorce in Charedi and Orthodox circles is a trend I have personally seen at least anecdotal evidence of here in the US, and certainly a much-discussed topic among my contemporaries. Interesting to see actual figures to support a similar trend existing in Israel.

Another interesting trend:
The recent war in Lebanon seemed to have a positive effect on the institution of marriage, according to the Rabbinic Court data. The number of filings for divorce in August and September dropped a dramatic 18% compared to the same period in 2005. Also, the number of divorce filings in Haifa, the hardest hit by the war of the nation's three major cities, fell by 18%.
The bomb shelter theory of marriage counseling: closer quarters make for closer marriages?

This suggestion, that there are as many women who refuse to accept a get as there are men who refuse to grant them, might raise some eyebrows:
Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Dahan, head of the Rabbinic Court's administrative body..provided preliminary data on divorces that had dragged on for more than two years. He said there were about 1,000 such cases, 20% of which could be defined as situations in which either the husband or the wife refused to acquiesce to the giving of a get, or divorce certificate. Ben-Dahan said that men and women suffered equally from the intransigence of their spouses.
I find that surprising, and I'm not the only one:
However, Sharon Shenhav, a veteran divorce lawyer and women's rights activist, said in response that the number of women who were refused a get by their husbands was much higher.
More on the data here and here.

16 Comments:

Blogger Halfnutcase said...

maybe because for what ever miniscule amount is present to help a woman force him to give a get is entirely absent to make her take a get.

if she wont take the get, what is he supposed to do?

9:46 PM  
Blogger pisgam said...

The Dayan merely stated that intransigence is equal on both sides, that is most logically correct, he was not discussing the refusal to offer or receive a "gett". Women often refuse
halachic custodial arrangements and men in turn withold the "gett".

12:42 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

pisgam said...

The Dayan merely stated that intransigence is equal on both sides, that is most logically correct, he was not discussing the refusal to offer or receive a "gett". Women often refuse
halachic custodial arrangements and men in turn withold the "gett".


Actually, he WAS talking about the refuse to offer or receive a get. He discussed that clearly during the press conference, and said straight out that the numbers of women who refuse a get are equal to the numbers of men who withhold them. From the haaretz article:

Ben-Dahan says there are just as many women who refuse to accept a get as there are men who refuse to give one.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, Sharon Shenhav, a veteran divorce lawyer and women's rights activist, said in response that the number of women who were refused a get by their husbands was much higher."

I didnt read the article. Does she have any evidence for this?

10:14 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

I know a number of young couples who have divorced recently (married 2-5 years). I also know a number of young people who have divorces with marriages in the 3 month range.

While major Orthodox publications are writing about the shidduch crisis, it seems there is a divorce crisis looming in the wings.

Current New: The Shidduch Crisis
Up Next: The Divorce Crisis

6:32 PM  
Anonymous IsraelFRAC said...

on behalf of the Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council, kol hakavod to Rav Ben Dahan for dispelling much of the simply false information put out by Sharon Shenhav and some other feminist agenda spokespersons. The use of refusal of participation in the Get is a standard, if nefarious, practice employed by both sides almost eqaully. IFRAC has an attorney working almost full time on these cases on behalf of husbands. The aguna issue is a crisis on both sides, and not simply women refused a Get.
Equally important, Rav Ben Dahan rightly pointed out in his complete comments that over 70% of the claims of aguna in the Jerusalem Bet Din prove false, but no one notices years later after the initial accusations are made. Like rape, we have a real crisis of a terrible crime and those in authority powerless to address the issue because of abuse of the claim and a tidal wave of false claims. It does not make make anyone pro-aguna in publicly braeking the taboo that there are a rash of false claims for financial profit and pressure.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IFRAC, very well stated indeed.

Shenhav is repeadtedly on record saying that "a woman is an aguna if she feels trapped like one" rather than either the legal or halachic definition. This resulted, in my divorce, in permitting my ex-wife to raise over $30,000 from naive rabbis and donors while filing 3 timesbehind closed doors in court her refusal to accept a divorce. Then they came after me to pay the bill as part of community property, because we were married when she raised the funds.

Not a single rabbi or donor of the $30,000 ever called and asked my side of the story. Not a single one ever called my attorney, or asked to see the court proceedings.
In the hysteria that chacterizes the frum community today all that is important is the ability to look condescendingly on someone else.

Aguna has become the ultimate "tzaddikim of yenem tuchus" --everyone can act like a real tzaddik because they need not do anything at all but look into someone else's divorce.

When all of these women writing checks lose all rights to see their grandchildren, as has occurred to all of our parents as a function of our divorces, the situation will hit home and the community will come to its senses--far too late.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MYBE IT'S BECAUSE ISRAELI WOMEN ARE SO DIFFICULT.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please note that each large city Beit Din also serve the surrounding Sububurbs and towns.

In this case the Jerusalem Beit Din also serves the majority of Gush Etzion, parts of Binyamin and other areas close to Jerusalem which are growing communities that attract newlyweds, therefore, its not so surprising that there is a rise in divorces in the Jerusalem Beit Din.

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