What is being done to address the problem of “agunot” and where can “agunot” get help?
Many people in the Jewish community are outraged over the problem of agunot, and many organizations are working to help improve their situation. The Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, the International Council of Jewish Women ("ICJW"), and the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance provide advocacy for agunot. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is currently attempting to document all cases of women who are chained to dead marriages, and seeks to raise consciousness of the problem of agunot as a human rights issue. There are also battei din in the US that specifically deal with this issue. See the Rabbinic Council of America to find this kind of beit din.
ICJW spent two years planning a conference on the situation of agunot, in which rabbis and Jewish advocates from all streams of Judaism planned to participate to seek a solution. The conference, which was scheduled for early November 2006, was abruptly canceled four days before its starting date by Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Amar, because of intense pressure from haredi (ultra right wing groups).
Until a solution has been achieved, you can take steps to raise awareness of the situation of agunot in your community and in your state. Be vocal in speaking out against any known mesarvei get in your community, support local boycotts and pickets, and consider hosting a forum at your synagogue to discuss the situation. If there are agunot in your community, open your home to them and ask how you can help them. Write to your senators and congressmen asking them to support legislation, like New York’s Get Law, to help the problems of agunot.