Beth Din targets ‘abhorrent’ get refuser


The London Beth Din has resorted for a second time in two months to naming and shaming a man accused of denying his wife a get.

Posters were sent earlier this month to a number of synagogues in Golders Green and Hendon, north-west London, denouncing the "abhorrent conduct" of Shmiel Kahan.

They said he had refused his wife Esther Kahan-Dominitz a get for nine years and called on him to "do the right thing".

Last month, the Beth Din took out an advertisement in the JC calling on synagogues to bar entry to John Abayahoudayan for refusing his wife a get.

A copy of the latest poster appeared on the American website Failed Messiah.

Joanne Greenaway, the London Beth Din's get care-worker, said: "It is important to the London Beth Din to ensure that the get process is not abused and that those who do abuse it are held to account.

"We are really grateful for the support that rabbonim have shown in helping us to deal with this issue on the ground.

"We hope that it will lead to a positive result for Mrs Kahan, who has been prevented from moving on with her life for so many years."

But a friend of Mr Kahan, who is now based in New York, felt the condemnation was unfair.

He said that Mr Kahan had gone to the Beth Din of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations "as soon as he was back in London".

The friend added that Mr Kahan had "asked me to say he wants this matter settled, he wants to give a get, but outstanding matters have to be settled. He has taken halachic advice."

The two Batei Din, he said, "need to negotiate and discuss matters".

A spokesman for the Union rabbinate said that it fully supported the London Beth Din's action.

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