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 Mavoi Satum Rosh Hashana Newsletter
Mavoi Satum Rosh Hashana Newsletter 7.9.10
Mavoi Satum Rosh Hashana Newsletter

תשרי תשע"א
Shana Tova

In this newsletter:
"Mesoravot get" and their "Melavot" share their thoughts and feelings
Dear friends,
The new year always brings hope for change and renewal but in our work at Mavoi Satum this is not a straightforward wish.We have taken upon ourselves a program of social change and we hope to be able to promote these changes in the coming year. We are dedicated to   help and support women who are mesoravot get, to advance legislation in their favour, and to increase public awareness about their plight.  We will continue to demand equality, integrity and social justice,  and to implement halachic solutions to the problem of sarvanut.

This newsletter is dedicated to all our committed volunteers, who quietly work hard as melavot - companions to women who are mesoravot get. Our  volunteers give these women emotional and spiritual support, accompany them to their court proceedings, offer an open channel of communication,  and provide a shoulder to lean on until they receive their get.
We are truly appreciative of their total and single minded dedication in providing much needed friendship and a sense of empowerment to the mesoravot get, which is a great source of inspiration to all the staff and board  as well.
In this news letter we choose to listen to the voices of both the melavot and the women whom they help, which gives us an insight into their important work.
We wish them and all our friends and supporters, and to all the mesoravot get in Israel and around the world. 
 Michal Waller, Board chair
Batya Kahana - Dror, Director
and all the Staff at Mavoi Satum
This Rosh Hashana, "Kol Masa" ( a newsletter written for and by 'Mesoravot Get') is devoted to the unique and special relationship formed between a 'Mesorevet Get'  and her 'Melava'  ( volunteer companion) .  Below, you will read what motivated women to volunteer as a 'Melava' as well as what 'Mesoravot Get'  feel about the relationship with their 'Melava' and what it means to them. 
Loneliness is a very difficult feeling. Even when a woman has a supporting family and friends, a 'Mesorevet Get' may still feel lonely and alone. As Mazal, a 'Mesorevet Get' for four years, movingly writes in her poem (shown below) “in the end, the struggle is the woman’s only”. 

Notwithstanding this feeling,  a Melava, who understands the woman’s situation and supports her throughout  the process until she receives a 'get',  can ease this sense of “I’m fighting alone’.

The Melava program is integral to the service Mavoi Satum provides. Her role is to accompany the 'Mesorevet Get '  to the rabbinical court and to the civil court, as well as to offer a 'listening ear' at all times.  It is important to note that the relationship is not one-way. As you will read, it is as meaningful a relationship for the 'Melava' as it is for the 'Mesorevet Get'.

I invite every 'Mesorevet get'  interested in a 'Melava' and any woman interested 
in volunteering to be a 'Melava', to contact me at: 052-4292789

Joanne Zack-Pakes
Mavoi Satum Social Worker 
You are a hero
Have you been told this lately?
Drawing strengtht from a dried-up spring
Scraping the bottom of the vessel of hope.
And with these tools
You wake up for another day of struggle.

You have no privilege to give up
The arms of despair are threatening to gather you in
You’re looking for a restful corner, for an island of repose,
But these are luxuries you once had, and maybe never will again.
Tired and broken you step forward
Sometimes will moves you on, sometimes necessity
Good people help you pave the way,
Place a poultice, wipe away a tear.
But the coping is only yours in the end
You discover strengths you didn’t know you had.
Despite it all, you have a will,
To give a child a hug, and a helpful shoulder.
You are a hero.
Have you been told this lately?
One day we’ll cross the line to freedom,
Don’t lose hope.
Till then your sister on the road salutes you,
Sends you strength, encouragement and support.
3 years mesorevet get
(Poem translated from Hebrew)
 My name is Sharona.  I am a new divorcee for a couple of months. Before that I was a victim of “get” refusal for four years. As you might know,  the route to the divorce was very long, painful,   tormenting and tiring.  

One of the hardest parts for me was the loneliness I experienced during the civil court and rabbinical court proceedings, I did not want to burden my family. This difficult time with me was particularly hard for them.   

 I felt alone, agitated and anxious, until Joanne offered me a companion (melava) on behalf of “Mavoi Satum”. I was lucky to get Amy Yourman as my melava.  She helped me immensely by coming with me to every diyun, waiting with me outside,  hugging me, cheering me up and giving me fortitude. Only when I had her companionship did I   realize how much I needed it.

 Thank you so much, dear Amy!
 I hope you’ll have all the best, happiness and good health.

My Experiences as a Companion - Melava of a 'mesurevet get'
I have been volunteering with the 'Mavoi Satum' organization for the last 5-6 years and have had a taste of the difficult experience of accompanying women who are 'mesuravot get'.

My decision to volunteer stemmed from my desire to 
contribute of my time and energy to the community, and when I saw the advertisement seeking volunteers for 'mesuravot get' I knew that this was the place that I want to help. 

During my time as a volunteer I met women in desperate 
situations dealing with many difficulties. Some of them were still not certain about going ahead with the move of demanding a 'get', and  were very frightened of the fateful step.
I saw how one of them, after reconciling herself with the decision to demand a 'get', transformed from a fearful woman lacking self-confidence to a happy assured woman with a high level of self esteem. I experienced this transformation with her. Despite the problems she faced – making a livelihood, caring for children aged 3-15, dealing with the welfare institutions, standing up to the rabbinical court – she was very sure of her decision. The empowerment that she experienced was also transferred to me. I felt as if it was her that was strengthening me.

I can't bear an injustice, especially one being done to someone vulnerable and 
helpless, an
injustice caused by oppressing someone weaker than others. I can't bear the helplessness, especially when the oppressed is a righteous woman. 

It is because of this that I feel the need to provide not only emotional support but also, and mainly, practical assistance.

 I tried making contact with rabbis, with rabbinical advocates and with employers of the recalcitrant husband. During these approaches I became party to conversations with religious functionaries that caused me to be ashamed of being a religious Torah observant woman. The alienation, contempt and hatred toward the woman and toward the notion of demanding a 'get' from the husband that I was exposed to by certain religious functionaries, only caused me to want to fight even harder.

As a religious woman, I emphasize that the 'halakha' is my guiding light; the verse: "Do not deceive the stranger, orphan and widow…" teaches me how to relate to the weaker members of society. A 'mesurevet get' is a widow whose husband is not only alive but also torturing her. Rabbis who use the halakha to trample and oppress a defenseless woman are criminals and profaners in my eyes. A rabbi expelling us (the wretched woman and myself accompanying her) from his house because of her desire for a 'get' and not for reconciliation with her husband (after approximately 18 years of being abused by him)' cannot be called a rabbi. A rabbi, who tells me during a telephone conversation "let her stay an 'aguna', its not so bad, she isn't going to get married anyway", is not only heartless but also a criminal and a supporter of a transgressor (the recalcitrant husband).

My desire to help a 'mesurevet get' also includes my desire to amend the injustice being done
in the name of the 'halakha'. It is in this way that I feel I am bringing redemption to the world…  
Mira Birnbaum
 Melava (6 years) of 'mesurevet get'
My melava  is wonderful! I feel that she constantly cares about my children and me. She stands by me and backs me up when I come to the rabbinical court, and must face my husband. Whenever I need her, she is always there, encouraging me, and strengthening me.
I appreciate her support so much; she helps me feel strong, and capable of coping with the hard imes. I have no words to thank her for all she’s given me...."

"Mesorevet get" for over four years                                      
Painting by Julia Sferlazzo
                                                                                                   Student volunteer

"..I wish to thank with all my heart the amazing melava who accompanied me during the difficult and exhausting time I experienced, for all the patience and empathy. For me it was true unconditional giving.

 Thank you for the endless understanding and caring. Thank you for the desire to assist and listen at all times, thank you for the constant
accompaniment along the entire difficult path that I took – it was certainly a gift.
As far as I am concerned, life constantly offers us gifts. It is true that during difficult times it is not easy to see these gifts and so dear women, look at 'Mavoi Satum' and its amazing activities. It is one of the most wonderful gifts that the Almighty has sent me and you. Thank you again!
May each one of you merit the freedom you desire…"

Received her "get" in June 2010 after four years of waiting
   Painting by Julia Sferlazzo, Student volunteer 
I would like to thank Hanit, whom I appreciate and cherish.

Hanit, my melava, is charming, sensitive and always attentive to my thoughts.
Although our conversations are conducted over the phone, it is very important for me that there’s a sympathetic ear for all my frustration.
A good word and some encouragement from her makes me feel so much better.
Her help brings me new strength and rejuvinates my energies.
Each conversation I have with her is very meaningful and powerful for me.
May good deeds like hers increase manyfold . 

 With gratefulness,
Yeshar kochachem!
Victim of “get” refusal for the past four years
 The significance of being a melava
 I am just finishing my role as a melava for a woman who I accompanied for 
the last three years. I am happy to say that this woman has gone from the status of 'mesurevet get' to that of a divorced woman, a free woman.

 It is clear to me that I want to continue to be part of the organization's melava team. I have been a melava with 'Mavoi Satum' for three years and I am thrilled that the 'mesurevet get' that I accompanied has recently won her cherished 'get'. 
This companionship was my way of contributing to the important and difficult struggle of these women. I feel that it  is my way of being involved a little and contributing to our society.
 During the conversations with the woman , I felt that I was providing her with a small place to unload her frustrations. This later enabled her to take a deep breath and continue her day to day struggle.
The program is very special due to the woman leading it, Joanne Zack-Pakes. She is in constant contact with the melavot, checking the situation and lending support and strength which gave me the feeling of being helped too. There were also joint meetings with all the melavot  creating a support group and forum for consultation.

Thank you for the privilege of being a small part of this important organization 
that assists these brave women in their struggle!

 Keren Hadad Taub
After years of hearing about divorce proceedings that included threats, lies, and extortion  I was exposed to the activities of Mavoi Satum.  
I saw that there was a group of women who are working very hard to create change and  I decided to volunteer as a "melava". With the help of the melavot there are  women who receive emotional support and don’t have to sit alone in the courtroom corridors in the presence of their irate husbands.

 I saw how much strength and determination is necessary in  order to get a get, and understood how important it was to support women that have to attend endless court sessions. I was impressed with the strength of the women and with Joanne  and Gittit's good counsel. 

I hope we will continue to find ways to convince the courts to bring divorce proceedings to a rapid and fair conclusion.

Marsha Goldstein
Melava '(2 years) of
'mesurevet get'


 Private Detective

Thank you to all the donors who sent us donations to help us hire a detective for Troya MulaThis is an ongoing case and we are seeking additional donations. 
We  need 4,000 NIS to finance  24 more hours of the detective's  time in order to find Troya Mula's husband.
You can donate directly by accessing 
website .

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מבוי סתום | התעשיה 8, תד 8712 | ירושלים | | 91086 | Israel | 026712282
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