By Rabbi Ronnie Warburg
We are pleased to announce the formation of the International Beit Din. In the event that a couple is unable to settle their marital differences by themselves or with the assistance of a mediator, the IBD will address all marriage matters, including grounds for issuing a divorce judgment, dividing up marital assets upon divo rce, spousal and child support, and parenting arrangements (custody and visitation privileges). Upon mutual agreement to resolve their differences at the IBD, parties will sign a shtar borerut, an arbitration agreement, accompanied by the execution of a kinyan (a symbolic act for undertaking an obligation), which halachically and legally empowers the beit din panel to render a decision, a judgment which will be enforceable in civil court.
From time to time there emerges the issue of igun, known in modern Hebrew as sarvanut get (get recalcitrance) where either the husband refuses to grant a get to his wife or the wife refuses to accept a get from her husband. Frequently, in such instances, the recalcitrant spouse makes the granting or the receipt of the get contingent upon the fulfillment of certain conditions such as extorting funds from the other spouse. Such issues of igun will be dealt with by the IBD. Following in the footsteps of many Ashkenazic and Sephardic rabbanim, we will leave no stone unturned in order to free the spouse from igun.
The IBD will be operating in a transparent environment, serving the greater good of our community. Therefore, though halachah does not mandate that a beit din provide reasons for its decisions, given the importance of educating our community to the dynamics of the halachic process in general and the realization of the acute need to articulate our reasoning concerning these matters in particular, we will endeavor to provide a reasoned p’sak din, decision, in our cases. Moreover, regarding cases involving an agunah, following in the time-honored practice of numerous poskim and dayanim, our panel will seek the approval of a renowned Torah scholar or dayan prior to issuing our p’sak din.
The IBD is an autonomous institution, independent of every organization, and seeks to preserve the confidentiality of all individuals who seek its assistance. Rabbi Krauss, who spearheaded the establishment of this beit din and serves as the av beit din, received his Yadin Yadin rabbinical ordination (expertise in halachic family and commercial law) from Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner, zt’l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin, and served on the St. Louis beit din for many years regarding matters of gittin. This author (A. Yehuda Warburg) serves as director of the beit din, serves as a dayan in the chassidic, Modern Orthodox, and yeshiva communities in the New York–New Jersey area, and is the author of a forthcoming work dealing with his beit din rulings, titled Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality, Volume 2. Also serving on the panel is Rabbi Yosef Blau, who presently serves as a dayan for the New York City beit din l’giyur (rabbinical court for conversion), which is under the aegis of the Rabbinical Council of America, and formerly served on the Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan beit din and on the Beth Din of America.
For further inquiries regarding the beit din, please call 201-357-4056 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.