Women's Legal Aid Clinic
Israeli women in divorce proceedings often find themselves in dire financial straits and cannot afford good legal representation. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that sole authority for marital cases lies with the Rabbinical Courts, where granting a divorce is entirely dependent upon the husband's agreement. Many men abuse this power, refusing to grant their wives a divorce, or demanding an exorbitant price in exchange for one.
The Women's Legal Aid Clinic works to address these urgent issues, by offering free legal counsel and representation for women, educating young lawyers to be advocates of women's rights, and promoting legislation to advance women's legal standing in the Israeli court system.
The Clinic supplies legal counsel and legal representation in areas such as child custody, support payment and distribution of property to over seventy women in financial distress who are in divorce proceedings each year. Our legal counseling track offers legal advice and support by phone or in person with one of the Center's qualified family lawyers, while our legal representation track grants full legal representation of the case, free of charge, both in the Rabbinical courts and in the civil court system.
We offer a training program to familiarize young lawyers-to-be with the needs and rights of women in Jewish and Israeli law. Participants analyze and examine the Center's cases, attend hearings at the Family and Rabbinical Courts, tour relevant legal sites, and work in conjunction with Clinic lawyers on specifically assigned cases.
The Clinic advocates for positive change in the legal system through appeals to the High Court of Justice, as well as activism to garner support for passing related bills in the Knesset. These two channels of appeal and legislation are essential in order to bring about real change, thus complementing the Clinic's work in the courts.