Award Category

Social Sciences

Publication Date

Spring 2018


This policy paper examines the intersections between domestic violence and the sovereignty Israeli religious courts have over family law. It analyzes the engrained Jewish traditions and values of Gets, Agunah, and Shalom Bayit. It later seeks to explain the contradictions between the civil and religious court systems and illustrate comparisons between the Israeli Orthodox community and Hasidic community of New York City. Finally, it illustrates that domestic violence legislation, gender dynamics, and the imposing nature of male-dominated rabbinical courts maintain a culture of domestic violence in Orthodox Israeli communities. With this analysis, the author concludes the need for comprehensive social programs and education, cultural change, and court reform in order to break the cycle of violence.

Faculty Advisor

Patrick O'Neil