Last Jew of Afghanistan divorces wife after 20 years of refusal - report

Zabulon Simantov signed divorce papers via a Zoom call with the Sydney Tribunal, with several others in attendance.

 Zabulon Simantov, an Afghan Jew, blows the traditional shofar, or ram's horn, at a synagogue in Kabul (photo credit: REUTERS/OMAR SOBHANI)
Zabulon Simantov, an Afghan Jew, blows the traditional shofar, or ram's horn, at a synagogue in Kabul
(photo credit: REUTERS/OMAR SOBHANI)

Zabulon Simantov, known as the last Jew in Afghanistan before leaving for the United States, has reportedly divorced his wife in a Zoom call after twenty years of divorce refusal. 

According to a tweet by Israeli journalist Zvika Klein, the Sydney Tribunal headed by Rabbi Ulman managed the process and served as the tribunal.

Also present were Rabbi Mandy Hitrik from Istanbul and businessman Moti Kahana, who tweeted, "For the first time in Jewish history, a get [Jewish divorce document] was signed via Zoom."

Earlier this month, it was reported that Simantov signed a proxy divorce document, but there is doubt as to whether the papers will be recognized in a Jewish court. 

  Simantov, an Afghan Jew, prays at his residence in Kabul (credit: REUTERS) Simantov, an Afghan Jew, prays at his residence in Kabul (credit: REUTERS)

Attempts have been made to assist his Israeli wife in getting a divorce for years. Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow, wrote on Twitter that he had offered to fly to Afghanistan to administer the divorce but that Simantov refused. 

Simantov's now ex-wife and their two daughters have lived in Israel since 1998, but he stayed in Afghanistan until the Taliban takeover in August of 2021, after which he left for the United States. 

“I like everything in New York. Everything is exciting,” Simantov, 62, told The New York Post in an interview. “I would like to be a US citizen.”

Shira Silkoff contributed to this report.