In honor of Yom Hamishpacha (Family Day), the Yad La’Isha organization has announced a record-breaking month of resolved aguna (a Jewish woman who is “chained” to her marriage) cases. The organization, which is part of the Modern Orthodox Ohr Torah Stone network, said 12 cases were resolved peacefully.The aguna problem is an ongoing Jewish legal (halachic) issue in which women wishing to get a religious divorce require the consent of their husbands, who may refuse. Combined with the inability of rabbinical authorities to force an annulment, that leads to the creation of “chained women” who may not remarry according to Halacha without a “get” (Jewish divorce document). “The problem of women who are trapped in abusive or unviable marriages by their husbands deserves to be recognized as one of the most pressing challenges of the Jewish world,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, president and rosh yeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone.According to Yad La’Isha, each year more than 2,400 women around the world become agunot. In many cases, the cases are resolved peacefully. But in others, women may not have the resources to handle the legal and emotional complexities and fall into a legal limbo.“We weep for every moment lost by the 12 women who were freed this month,” Yad La’Isha director Pnina Omer said in a statement. “But at the same time we are tremendously excited that we were able to bring about their release. This month’s impressive success is the result of dedicated work, creative thinking and exceptional expertise by our team of women advocates, lawyers and social workers who have been fighting to release chained women for more than 20 years. We will continue to pursue their rights to freedom until a full halachic solution is found.”While distinctions exist between Israeli Jewish women and those in the Diaspora, where there is no central Jewish authority controlling marriage and divorce, both communities have been affected by the challenge of agunot. In Israel, since marriage and divorce is under the control of the Rabbinate, with no civil marriage available, secular Israeli Jewish women have also been impacted by the issue of the get.Some cases have included physical violence against women, Yad La’Isha said. In one case, the husband of a women known as “I” was arrested for violating restraining orders after he threatened to kill her. In this case, she was held hostage in her marriage for six years before going to Yad La’Isha for help. Describing the experience, ‘I’ said that “while [she] still has considerable scars from this experience, [she] feels invigorated to finally be free. [She] hopes [her] experience can give hope and confidence to other women in [her] situation to know that their day will come,” Yad La’Isha said.