by the Forward

N.Y. Rabbi in Jewish Divorce Torture Ring Gets 3 Years in Prison

A New York rabbi who participated in a ring that violently attempted to coerce Jewish men to grant their wives religious divorces has been sentenced to 38 months in prison.

Martin Wolmark, 57, of Monsey, was sentenced Monday in a U.S. District Court in Trenton, New Jersey, The Associated Press reported.

Wolmark was one of nine people, two of them Orthodox rabbis, convicted for their roles in the ring, which kidnapped and tortured recalcitrant husbands.

According to halachah, or Jewish law, a woman cannot remarry without receiving a Jewish divorce, or get, from her husband. The women who are trapped in such marriages are called agunot, or “chained women.”

The group’s members were busted in an FBI sting operation in 2013. The other rabbi involved in the ring, Mendel Epstein, 70, is scheduled for sentencing on Tuesday.

In November, five participants in the ring, all from New York, were sentenced to prison. Simcha Blumash and Moshe Goldstein, both 32, received the longest sentences, four years.

Video from original arrest.

Embed this video

Embed this video


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

N.Y. Rabbi in Jewish Divorce Torture Ring Gets 3 Years in Prison

Thank you!

This article has been sent!