Deborah Rosenbloom

Deborah RosenbloomCommunity Contributor

Deborah Rosenbloom, JD/MPA, is Jewish Women International’s vice president of programs and new initiatives.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Freeing ‘Chained Women’ Starts With A Song: JWI and The Maccabeats Join Forces to End Get Abuse

Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. At least, that’s the narrative society often instills in young women. The shoes, dress, and decorations need to be Pinterest perfect. But how often do we discuss what happens after the wedding? The value of a healthy relationship gets lost in the color scheme.

JWI believes that one sign of a healthy relationship is an equal sense of power. Because of the halacha (Jewish law) surrounding giving a get (writ of divorce) only a man the power to end the marriage, brides immediately start off with a disadvantage.

Jewish Women International (JWI) teamed up with The Maccabeats to create a video encouraging couples to sign a halachic pre-nup as a positive sign of a healthy relationship. Set to the tune of Train’s “Play That Song,” the catchy a cappella cover is part of JWI’s Get Smart Project, which extends far beyond a 30 second video.

Funded by the Aviv Foundation and developed by JWI, with guidance from a rabbinical advisory committee, Get Smart Project includes all the materials for a workshop about healthy and unhealthy relationships and explores the reasons for signing a halachic pre-nup (one in keeping with Jewish law).

In addition to a classroom video, the workshop equips adult facilitators with a discussion guide, brochures, stickers, and posters. The film presents three examples of unhealthy relationships and demonstrates how abuse escalates over time. From the emotional to the financial to the physical and finally to get abuse, the video shows the various ways a seemingly happy marriage can evolve into an unhealthy one.

Students leave the workshop with a clear understanding of what abuse looks like, and spend time discussing get abuse, why it’s a misuse of halacha, and how to prevent it. They also explore ways to navigate a society that hasn’t yet embraced this innovative solution to a real and pressing problem.

In September, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) issued a resolution requiring the use of a halachic pre-nup. The legality and logic behind this important document is sound, but not yet normalized. The Get Smart Project aims to change that, building the foundation of a stronger Jewish community.

The way we see it, a halachic pre-nup protects the one you love. Demonstrating that level of respect and support at the very beginning of a relationship isn’t just romantic; it’s a tradition worth making.

To bring the Get Smart Project to your school or community, please contact Deborah Rosenbloom.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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Freeing ‘Chained Women’ Starts With A Song: JWI and The Maccabeats Join Forces to End Get Abuse

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