This profile story was originally published in The Times of Israel.
Gital Dodelson never intended to be the poster child for the effort to freeagunot. But then again, she never expected to be a “chained woman,” whose husband refuses to give her a get, or Jewish divorce decree. She finds herself a reluctant public figure after taking her story first tosocial media, then to the Jewish press, and ultimately to the New York Post.
In a widely circulated story, she told the Post how, shortly after her marriage four-and-a-half years ago to Torah scholar Avrohom Meir Weiss, scion of a famous rabbinical family, she realized she had made a mistake. Dodelson claims her husband became controlling and manipulative, and he refused to work on improving the relationship. After 10 months, Dodelson could not take the situation anymore and left together with the couple’s newborn son. She returned to her parents’ home in Lakewood, New Jersey, and enrolled in law school.
Dodelson, 25, and her husband were civilly divorced in October 2012, but Weiss has since refused to give Dodelson a get. After private attempts to convince Weiss to issue her the religious divorce failed, Dodelson, with the support of her family and publicist Shira Dicker, decided to go public with her plight to bring pressure on her recalcitrant husband and his family.
“I knew I’d lose my privacy by speaking to the mainstream media, but I figured it was worth it if it could help bring me closer to gaining my freedom,” theagunah told The Times of Israel this week. The strategy seems to be working, with her estranged husband’s father and uncle resigning this week from their positions at Artscroll, a leading Orthodox publisher, in the wake of the divorce scandal.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.