Mavoi Satum is a non-profit organization founded in 1995 to provide legal and emotional support to women who have been refused a Jewish divorce (get). We are also one of the leading organizations engaged in finding a solution to the problem of divorce refusal in the State of Israel.
One out of every five Jewish women in Israel is unable to freely exit her marriage. Jewish law (halakhah), which is supported by Israeli law, gives absolute authority over marriage and divorce to the religious courts and empowers men as the sole executors of the divorce process. This leaves women vulnerable to extortion, manipulation, and abuse. Thousands of such women (mesoravot get) are currently trapped for long periods of time, even decades, in a state of limbo and unable to rebuild their lives.
Our approach to the problem of mesoravot get combines personal assistance to individual mesoravot get with advocacy for broad reform. Our services include legal counseling and representation, emotional and psychological support, and empowerment training. On the national level, we advocate for reform in the legal system that governs marriage and divorce in Israel, lobby, network, and conduct public awareness campaigns.
We are dedicated to creating a more just society in Israel in which women who seek a Jewish divorce will not encounter a “dead end” that results from insensitive legal interpretations and stringencies.
Leah Globe, of blessed memory, the founder of Mavoi Satum, was a wise and compassionate woman. She passed away in 2001 just three months before her 101st birthday. She was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States. From an early age she was dedicated to improving the lives of a wide variety of people in need.
Leah opened her home to women who were agunot or mesoravot get, and dedicated her efforts to obtaining legal and emotional support for them. She quickly gained a reputation and attracted a flood of requests for help. She was overwhelmed by the extent of suffering she encountered among these powerless women and appalled by the communal silence to their plight. In an effort to call attention to the issue she decided to record their stories which she published in a book entitled ‘Mavoi Satum’.
Leah was soon joined by a group of women who shared her concern and together they planted the seed from which the organisation grew. The original founders recruited professional women as well as volunteers (Melavot) who served as companions and mentors to the mesoravot get . As the organization expanded the extent of assistance offered to women in need grew to the multitude of services that are currently offered.
Leah Globe will be remembered for her extraordinary self sacrifice on behalf of women trapped in failed and violent marriages. Each woman who benefits from the services of Mavoi Satum is a personal witness to Leah’s contribution and thereby perpetuates her memory.