Rivky Stein sat with a panel of rabbis early last month in a beit din, a religious court, waiting for her husband Yoel Weiss to arrive. The pair had been separated for two years, but Yoel had refused to give Rivky a get, a document of Jewish divorce.
“I prayed for my freedom,” said Stein. Yoel never showed up.
A surge of news reports followed, adding to an ongoing saga that had been chronicled by publications ranging from The Daily Mail to Haaretz. A call to action was posted on a website devoted to Stein’s cause. Donations poured in to a crowd-funding website that has raised over $22,000 so far.
The coordinated use of publicists, Facebook, Twitter, donation sites, and rallies is becoming common for women like Rivky Stein who seek religious divorces from their husbands.