In the closing days of the New York State legislative session late last month, among a flurry of last minute bills passed, was one that will clearly allow Batei Dinim (Rabbinical Courts) to operate on Sundays.

Introduced by Senator Simcha Felder in the Senate, and in the Assembly by Assemblymembers Michael Simanowitz, Juduciary Chair Helene Weinstein, and David Weprin, the bill makes clear that an arbitration proceeding, unlike a court proceeding, can take place on a Sunday.

“This new legislation rectifies an egregious form of discrimination against Orthodox Jews in New York,” commented Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel.  “The notion that a Din Torah, fully participated in by all relevant parties, could be rendered null and void simply because it took place on a Sunday, is deeply offensive on a conceptual level, and deeply damaging on a practical level.

“Now, thanks to the leadership of Senator Felder, and Assemblymembers Simanowitz, Weinstein and Weprin, this blot on New York law is on the verge of being erased.  We look forward to having Governor Cuomo sign the bill and put an end to this intolerable state of affairs.”

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