Passing on an email message that was forwarded to me:
From: Gary Buchwald <Gary7@alum.mit.edu>
Please take the time to read this brief email and help in any way you can.
The email below is currently being circulated by the family of an Agunah, Susie Rosenfeld, who currently lives in Oceanside. It has started a barrage of letters and phone calls to the family of the recalcitrant husband who refuses to give his wife a Get. These letters and phone calls seem to be having an effect. Up until now, the family of the recalcitrant husband has given him complete support in his campaign to hold his wife’s life hostage. However, his family is now getting tired of the public pressure. You can help by contacting members of his family (contact information below) by letter and/or by phone. The tone of the letters and phone calls must be polite. It is perfectly legal to write someone a polite letter making a request without threats, and the same is true for phone messages as long as they are left at a reasonable hour. There are people who have committed to calling each one of the family members once a day and leaving short, polite messages asking them to persuade their brother/son to give the Get. The idea here is to be above board, identify yourself, and to let them know that people from all walks of Jewish life are outraged at this abuse of Halacha.
I have been requested to share this with anyone I know who can help. Please do the same, but remember to delete any extra message headers before forwarding. Together, we can make a difference!
Thanks for your help. Tizku L’mitzvot!
You can read more about this situation in:
||Letter To The Community||
We are writing to you today to make you aware of the growing Agunah crisis affecting our community. In recent years, many men have been utilizing the withholding of the Get, in a Jewish divorce, as a tool of extortion and revenge. It is incumbent upon all of us to send a message to these individuals, that this abuse of Halacha and general disrespect of women will not be tolerated. As long as this behavior continues to be condoned, entering into a marriage will remain a potentially risky situation for all our daughters. The RCA has been endorsing a prenuptial agreement in an effort to prevent this circumstance from ever arising. However, there are still many Jewish women today, tethered to dead marriages and being prevented from moving on with their lives, by men who are seeking monetary gains, unfair leverage, and/or revenge, by withholding Gets. Susie Rosenfeld is such a person. She was involved in a tumultuous marriage to Ariel Hacohen of Queens for four years. For the last two years, she has been waging an uphill battle to gain her freedom from this individual who refuses to give her a Get. This particular case is exceedingly simple. There are no children, properties, or money involved here. We believe that Ariel is withholding the Get due to spite, anger, and some absurd sense of wounded pride. Mr. Hacohen currently resides with his parents in Queens. All attempts to pressure his siblings to persuade their parents and brother to give a Get have been met with resistance and inertia.
We ask you to stand with us now, and right a wrong that has been done to Susie Rosenfeld and many women in the Jewish community. Please help send a message that this attitude is unacceptable. This abuse of Halacha cannot be condoned, and the Hacohen family must act to persuade parents and brother to do the right thing. Specifically, we ask that you write or call, to let this family know that the Jewish community is outraged.
A sample letter could be as follows: I am aware that your brother is withholding a Get. The withholding of a Get for any reason is a morally reprehensible abuse of Halacha. Please persuade your parents and brother to do the right thing.
Please indicate your name, position or occupation, and affiliation (i.e. school, shul, or community) at the end of the communication. We thank you in advance for your help in correcting this wrong to Susie and other Agunot in the community.
Here is a list of addresses and phone numbers of Ariel Hacohen and his siblings:
Mordechai and Hoshana Hacohen (Ariel’s parents)
8450 117th St
Kew Gardens, NY 11418
Yisroel and Sandy Hacohen (Ariel’s brother)
14432 Gravett Rd
Flushing, NY 11367-1339
Neil and Yael Wasserman (Ariel’s sister)
29 Abbey Close
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Dr. Steven and Naomi Weiss (Ariel’s sister)
815 NE 171st St
North Miami Beach, FL 33162