Guide to the Queens Bet Din Gittin / Rabbi Faber Records
1947-1994 (bulk 1974-1992)
I-502

Processed by Rachel S. Harrison as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid was created by Rachel S. Harrison as MS Word and Excel 2000 documents in September 2010. Electronic finding aid was converted to EAD 2002 by Rachel S. Harrison in September 2010. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Salamon Faber
Title: Queens Bet Din Gittin / Rabbi Faber Records
Dates:1947-1994 (bulk 1974-1992)
Abstract: This is a collection of the records of Rabbi Salamon Faber, Chair of the Queens Bet Din or Rabbinic Court, concerning the gittin (plural of get, Jewish religious divorces) that the Queens Bet Din granted between 1947 and 1992. These records include Rabbi’s Faber’s personal notes about the gittin, correspondence with the husband and wife and with any other concerned parties, copies of civil and religious marriage and divorce documents, divorce contracts signed by the husband, and copies of conversion certificates.
Languages: The collection is in English, Hebrew, French, German, and Arabic.
Quantity: 24 manuscript boxes
Quantity:12 linear feet
Accession number: I-502
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Note

Salamon Faber was the Rabbi of the Kew Gardens Anshe Sholom Jewish Center in Queens, and Chair of the Queens Bet Din. He died in 1998. The Vaad Harabonim of Queens, the Board of Rabbis, was founded in 1960 by several rabbis from congregations in Queens in order to unite the Orthodox Jewish community and to provide religious services, including kosher certification standards, a chevra kadisha (Jewish burial) society, a bet din religious court to handle legal disputes and process Jewish divorces, and a forum for debate and discussion of religious issues that affect the community. The Vaad Harabonim of Queens now includes rabbis from all over Queens and Long Island who serve on a voluntary not-for-profit basis.

A bet din is a religious court that hears Jewish legal disputes and processes Jewish divorces. As with legal disputes, special guidelines are in place to ensure the impartiality of the member rabbis in divorce proceedings. Jewish law requires a Jewish bill of divorce, a get, in order to dissolve a Jewish marriage. The hope is that a standard get procedure is non-adversarial and does not require litigation. No grounds are needed for a divorce and no personal questions are asked when there is mutual consent. According to Jewish law, neither party may remarry until the get is given and accepted.

The get procedure is standardized according to Jewish law and supervised by a qualified rabbi or rabbinic court. One of the involved parties contacts the bet din to initiate the get procedure and/or to set a date for both parties to appear before the bet din for the get procedure and arranges for payment of the fee. When both parties appear before the bet din, the get is written by an authorized scribe and signed by two authorized witnesses, adult males who are religiously knowledgeable and committed and are not related to each other or to either the husband or wife. The wife affirms that she accepts the get of her own free will, without any conditions or stipulations. The husband makes an official decree of delivery of the get of his own free will in English and Hebrew and drops the get into the wife’s bare hands. The wife takes possession of the get and walks a few steps, indicating that she has received the get. The get is cut so that it cannot be used again and kept in the files of the bet din. The bet din issues a document to both parties stating that a get has been given and received and each party is free to remarry.

If the husband and wife cannot, or do not wish, to meet in person, a representative may be appointed to act in the husband’s stead, in which case the same rules and procedures apply as when the husband delivers the get in person. After the wife receives the get, the get itself is cut so that it cannot be used again and sent to the office of the bet din, along with the document indicating that there was a representative for the husband and a note giving the exact date and hour of delivery of the get, the names of the witnesses in Hebrew and English and the addresses of the witnesses. A document is sent to both parties certifying that the get has been processed by the bet din and that both parties are now free to remarry according to Jewish law.

The bet din usually requests copies of the civil and Jewish marriage documents (ketubah) and the civil divorce documents as well as the date and place of the Jewish marriage ceremony, the name, address and affiliation of the officiating rabbi, the full English and Hebrew or Yiddish names of the husband, the wife and the husband’s and wife’s fathers, the birth religion of the husband, the wife and their fathers, any conversion certificates along with the date and place and name, address and affiliation of the rabbi who performed the conversion, and two forms of identification of the husband and the wife.

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Scope and Content Note

The Queens Bet Din Gittin / Rabbi Faber Records consist of Rabbi Faber’s notes about the get, including the husbands’ and wives’ addresses and Hebrew names and the Hebrew names of their fathers, the name of the scribe who wrote the divorce decree, the names of the witnesses to the divorce, the date the get was deposited with the Queens Bet Din and the date when it was delivered to the wife. These notes are in Hebrew. The collection also contains Rabbi Faber’s correspondence with the husband and wife as well as with lawyers and other rabbis involved with processing the get and copies of civil and Jewish marriage and divorce documents, including copies of the get that have been accepted and cut so that they cannot be used again. The records belonged to the Queens Bet Din but there are divorces and documents from other cities in the United States as well as other countries, as the husband, wife, or both could have been born, married, or residing elsewhere at the time of the divorce.

This collection could be useful for researchers interested in genealogy as well as sociological aspects of religious marriages and divorces and family patterns. The materials in this collection date from 1947-1994, with the bulk dating from 1974-1992, corresponding to the rise in civil divorces starting in the 1970s. Rabbi Faber’s notes are in Hebrew. Additional materials are in English, Hebrew, French, Arabic, and German. The collection consists of 24 manuscript boxes comprising 12 linear feet.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged in one series. The materials were originally in spiral notebooks and composition books and arranged according to the date on the Jewish calendar on which the get was first deposited with the Queens Bet Din. The pages have been removed from the notebooks but kept in their original order. Supplemental materials for the records are attached to the notebook page. There is an index by the bride’s name and one by the groom’s name at the beginning of the collection although the earliest records, those from 1947-1958, are not represented in this index. The index provides each record with a number corresponding to the order in which the get was deposited with the Bet Din. Some, although not all, of the records are numbered, with either Hebrew letters or Arabic numbers. The index and the folders all use the Arabic numbers. The files for 5734 include the end of the 5733 records.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

E-mail: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

The American Jewish Historical Society Archives have the papers of Charles Blumenthal, P-114, and Tobias Geffen, P-516, both of whom were rabbis whose collections contain materials about Jewish marriage and divorce. The AJHS and YIVO libraries have several books about Jewish marriage and divorce, agunot (plural of agunah) and gittin.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Queens Bet Din Gittin / Rabbi Faber Records; I-502; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the American Jewish Historical Society by Rabbi Faber in 1994.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

 

Queens Bet Din Gittin / Rabbi Faber Records, 1947-1994

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Bride Index 1992
1 2 Groom Index 1992
1 3 Records 5707-5719 1947-1958
1 4 Records 5719-5721 number 001-030 1958-1960
1 5 Records 5719-5721 number 031-060 1958-1960
1 6 Records 5719-5721 number 061-085 1960-1961
1 7 Records 5721-5722 number 001-030 1961
BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Records 5721-5722 number 031-048 1959-1962
2 2 Records 5721-5722 number 049-081 1957-1966
2 3 Records 5723 number 001-030 1962-1963
2 4 Records 5723 number 031-048 1957-1963
2 5 Records 5724 number 001-030 1963-1964
2 6 Records 5724 number 031-050 1964-1969
2 7 Records 5724 number 051-066 1964
BoxFolderTitleDate
3 1 Records 5725 number 001-030 1964-1966
3 2 Records 5725 number 031-077 1962-1965
3 3 Records 5726 number 001-030 1965-1966
3 4 Records 5726 number 031-059 1961-1966
3 5 Records 5727 number 001-035 1966-1967
3 6 Records 5727 number 036-074 1967
BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1 Records 5728 number 001-030 1967-1968
4 2 Records 5728 number 031-060 1968
4 3 Records 5728 number 061-081 1968-1973
4 4 Records 5729 number 001-030 1968-1970
4 5 Records 5729 number 031-085 1966-1969
BoxFolderTitleDate
5 1 Records 5730 number 001-030 1969-1970
5 2 Records 5730 number 031-063 1970
5 3 Records 5731 number 001-030 1970-1971
5 4 Records 5731 number 031-064 1968-1971
5 5 Records 5732-5733 number 001-035 1971-1972
5 6 Records 5732-5733 number 036-060 1964-1972
BoxFolderTitleDate
6 1 Records 5732-5733 number 061-103 1955-1973
6 2 Records 5734 number 001-025 1969-1973
6 3 Records 5734 number 026-060 1973-1974
6 4 Records 5734 number 061-078 1968-1974
6 5 Records 5734 number 079-097 1969-1974
6 6 Records 5735 number 001-046 1974-1975
6 7 Records 5735 number 047-067 1974-1975
BoxFolderTitleDate
7 1 Records 5736 number 001-033 1957-1976
7 2 Records 5736 number 034-062 1976
7 3 Records 5736 number 063-080 1976-1978
7 4 Records 5737 number 001-030 1949-1977
7 5 Records 5737 number 031-060 1977
7 6 Records 5737 number 061-091 1975-1977
7 7 Records 5738 number 001-035 1976-1978
BoxFolderTitleDate
8 1 Records 5738 number 036-070 1975-1978
8 2 Records 5738 number 071-109 1951-1979
8 3 Records 5739 number 001-030 1953-1981
8 4 Records 5739 number 031-070 1978-1986
BoxFolderTitleDate
9 1 Records 5739 number 071-100 1967-1979
9 2 Records 5739 number 101-128 1979-1980
9 3 Records 5740 number 001-030 1952-1980
9 4 Records 5740 number 031-070 1978-1981
BoxFolderTitleDate
10 1 Records 5740 number 071-100 1972-1980
10 2 Records 5740 number 101-125 1971-1980
10 3 Records 5740 number 126-144 1980
10 4 Records 5741 number 001-040 1951-1980
10 5 Records 5741 number 041-075 1975-1981
BoxFolderTitleDate
11 1 Records 5741 number 076-110 1981-1996
11 2 Records 5741 number 111-140 1978-1981
11 3 Records 5741 number 141-161 1981
11 4 Records 5742 number 001-035 1981-1982
11 5 Records 5742 number 036-070 1981-1982
BoxFolderTitleDate
12 1 Records 5742 number 071-100 1974-1982
12 2 Records 5742 number 101-125 1959-1983
12 3 Records 5742 number 126-153 1972-1985
12 4 Records 5743 number 001-035 1981-1983
12 5 Records 5743 number 036-070 1982-1983
BoxFolderTitleDate
13 1 Records 5743 number 071-100 1983
13 2 Records 5743 number 101-125 1981-1983
13 3 Records 5743 number 126-151 1976-1983
13 4 Records 5744 number 001-030 1983-1984
13 5 Records 5744 number 031-060 1977-1984
BoxFolderTitleDate
14 1 Records 5744 number 061-090 1983-1984
14 2 Records 5744 number 091-120 1980-1984
14 3 Records 5744 number 121-150 1983-1984
14 4 Records 5744 number 151-180 1984-1985
BoxFolderTitleDate
15 1 Records 5744 number 181-210 1974-1985
15 2 Records 5744 number 211-230 1984-1990
15 3 Records 5745 number 001-035 1951-1987
15 4 Records 5745 number 036-065 1974-1985
15 5 Records 5745 number 066-090 1962-1985
BoxFolderTitleDate
16 1 Records 5745 number 091-120 1970-1985
16 2 Records 5745 number 121-150 1982-1985
16 3 Records 5745 number 151-180 1978-1985
16 4 Records 5745 number 181-205 1985-1986
16 5 Records 5746 number 001-030 1973-1986
BoxFolderTitleDate
17 1 Records 5746 number 031-060 1955-1986
17 2 Records 5746 number 061-090 1973-1986
17 3 Records 5746 number 091-125 1973-1990
17 4 Records 5746 number 126-160 1959-1987
BoxFolderTitleDate
18 1 Records 5746 number 161-183 1969-1994
18 2 Records 5747 number 001-030 1972-1987
18 3 Records 5747 number 031-065 1982-1988
18 4 Records 5747 number 066-100 1960-1987
BoxFolderTitleDate
19 1 Records 5747 number 101-140 1969-1987
19 2 Records 5747 number 140-170 1983-1987
19 3 Records 5747 number 171-198 1952-1987
19 4 Records 5748 number 001-025 1970-1987
BoxFolderTitleDate
20 1 Records 5748 number 026-050 1982-1988
20 2 Records 5748 number 051-080 1971-1990
20 3 Records 5748 number 080-110 1971-1993
20 4 Records 5748 number 111-140 1974-1993
20 5 Records 5748 number 141-177 1950-1988
BoxFolderTitleDate
21 1 Records 5749 number 001-025 1984-1988
21 2 Records 5749 number 026-060 1956-1989
21 3 Records 5749 number 061-085 1971-1989
21 4 Records 5749 number 086-110 1969-1989
21 5 Records 5749 number 111-135 1962-1994
BoxFolderTitleDate
22 1 Records 5749 number 136-154 1973-1993
22 2 Records 5750 number 001-025 1971-1990
22 3 Records 5750 number 026-050 1964-1990
22 4 Records 5750 number 051-075 1965-1990
22 5 Records 5750 number 076-100 1976-1992
BoxFolderTitleDate
23 1 Records 5750 number 101-121 1980-1991
23 2 Records 5751 number 001-025 1970-1994
23 3 Records 5751 number 026-060 1973-1991
23 4 Records 5751 number 061-080 1977-1992
BoxFolderTitleDate
24 1 Records 5751 number 081-106 1966-1991
24 2 Records 5752 number 001-025 1952-1992
24 3 Records 5752 number 026-050 1980-1992
24 4 Records 5752 number 051-079 1977-1992
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