Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Ninth Associate of Prodfather Rabbi’s Violent ‘Get’ Ring Sentenced

Rabbi Jay “Yaakov” Goldstein was sentenced to eight years in prison for his participation in a ring that violently attempted to coerce Jewish men to grant their wives religious divorces.

Goldstein, 61, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a statement.

Goldstein was one of 10 people, three of them Orthodox rabbis, convicted for their roles in the ring, which for a fee kidnapped and tortured recalcitrant husbands. He is the last one to be sentenced.

Image by Screen Shot

According to halachah, or Jewish law, a Jewish woman cannot remarry without receiving a Jewish divorce, or get, from her husband.

The women who are trapped in such marriages are called agunot, meaning chained women.

The ring’s members were busted in an FBI sting operation in 2013.

It’s leader was Rabbi Mendel Epstein, 70, of New Jersey, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday.

RELATED: Bye-bye Prodfather.

It’s leader was Rabbi Mendel Epstein, 70, of New Jersey, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday.

Among the weapons used on the victims were cattle prods, earning Epstein the ignominous nickname of The Prodfather.


  • Events

    Haart to Haart


    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.