Jewish Journal


February 27, 2012

Congressman urged to get Jewish staffer to give ex-wife a get


It’s not often that you see Politico reporting on the legal aspects of a Jewish divorce. But Rep. Dave Camp is feeling the heat over his staff aide, Aharon Friedman, who has refused to give his wife a get. Without the get Friedman’s ex-wfe, Tamar Epstein, cannot remarry.

Politico reports on the social media campaign urging Camp to step in and push his staffer to do the right thing:

After the failure of years of quiet efforts in the Jewish community — including a nonbinding request from D.C.’s rabbinical court for Friedman to consent to the get and a national rabbinical court’s “declaration of contempt” against him — Epstein’s supporters have increasingly turned to more public methods, including openly pressuring the congressman to intervene.

The situation is awkward for Camp because it is rare that the personal lives of congressional staffers become political issues for members of Congress. But the influential committee chairman is being dragged into the highly unusual situation now that Friedman’s opponents have decided to thrust it into the public sphere.


“We aren’t asking Dave Camp to fire Aharon Friedman. All we want is for Camp to require that Friedman stop abusing his wife. It is a pity to be known as the congressman who employs and encourages abuse of women,” reads a petition that has steadily increased the number of signatories over the past few days. As of Sunday, nearly 1,500 people have signed the petition.

Read the rest here. As many of you know, this is sadly not an uncommon problem in the Orthodox Jewish community. Even after a couple has received a civil divorce, they remain married religiously until and unless the man gives the woman a get. Some never do.

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