Founder and Director of Keren Gefen and the Hadassah Rimon Mind-Body Fertility Center
Dr. Karen Friedman, psychologist, is the founding director of Keren Gefen, which facilitates Mind/Body Fertility projects in Israel. The main project that Keren Gefen supports is the Rimon Mind/Body Fertility Center at Hadassah Mount Scopus, the first and only center of its kind in Israel.
Dr. Friedman is a CBT therapist, who has a Doctorate from Harvard University and completed Clinical Psychology training at Hadassah. “At Harvard, my Doctoral advisor, Professor Lawrence Kohlberg, taught me to challenge my thoughts and understand the thoughts of others. Professor Carol Gilligan taught me that woman have a ‘different voice’. I have found that voice. It is a maternal voice, and my goal is to further the vision of Dr. Ali Domar to allow each woman to fulfill her fertility potential.
She made Aliyah from Los Angeles and resides in Jerusalem with her husband, Prof. Yedidia Stern and their eight children.
Director of the Yoga Program for the Gefen and Hadassah Rimon Center
Kady Harari directs the Yoga Fertility Program and has been instrumental in developing many innovative programs in the Gefen Organization.
She has been teaching yoga since 2012 in Jerusalem, including training the next generation of Fertility Yoga specialists in the Gefen Organization Program.
Her teaching style includes movement and breathing work as well as relaxation techniques to help women prepare themselves for the treatments ahead. She encourages the women to take the tools they learn with them into their lives as a means of reducing stress and quieting the mind. Kady and her husband made Aliya and are currently living in Nahlaot, Jerusalem.
Dr. Zvia Birman
Clinical Social Worker
Dr. Birman is a clinical social worker specializing in the area of childbearing (infertility, adoption, and surrogacy) who has been treating women, couples and groups for over 20 years. Dr. Birman served as head of the social work department in the Pediatrics, Women and Maternity wards at the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with the emotional and practical aspects of men who are undergoing fertility treatments. She co-authored, To Bear a Child (Aryeh Ner Publishers, Tel Aviv), with psychiatrist, Professor Eliezer Witztum.
Dr. Rhonda Adessky
Director of Program Development
Rhonda Adessky received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Following a predoctoral internship at Yale University School of Medicine and a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, she served as a member of the faculty and Associate Director of the training clinic at Yale Psychological Services. Since making aliyah in 2000, Dr. Adessky has directed the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training program that she co-founded at Hadassah University Hospital, and has conducted ongoing research in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder at Hadassah. She is also clinical director of the Training Center for Mind-Body Skills, focusing on interventions for stress reduction and well-being. She has taught at Neve Yerushalayim in various capacities for the last ten years. She is currently teaching in the M.A. program in clinical psychology at Hebrew University.
Dr. Jordana Hyman
Gefen Medical Advisor
Dr Jordana Hyman is a graduate of Monash University Medical School in Melbourne, Australia and completed her OB-GYN residency at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. Dr Hyman went on to fulfil a two-year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Mc Gill University, Canada in 2013. She has been working intensely in the field of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for over ten years and is currently a senior staff specialist in Hadassah Ein Karem's IVF unit, as well as in fertility clinics in the kuppot cholim. Dr Hyman is active in research and teaching and also lectures widely. She is the medical director of Nishmat-Gefen Fertility Advisors course and has been a wonderful resource to Gefen staff members, providing professional assistance and advice. Dr Hyman is passionate about helping women and couples to become parents, seeing this work as a true calling, and a great privilege. She is highly regarded for her professionalism, her compassion, and her warm bedside manner.
Professor Meni Koslowsky
Director of Research
Professor Meni Koslowsky received his Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University and is currently a professor in the Psychology Department of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he formerly served as chairman of the department (2010-2014). His main research areas include personnel selection (interviewing techniques, letters of recommendation, CV evaluation) organizational behavior, the stress-strain relationship, methods of persuasion and their effectiveness, evaluation of programs, and research methodology. Professor Koslowsky has written over 100 articles, authored or edited five books, and has presented at more than 90 professional conferences over the years. He is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists and has been a visiting Professor at several universities in the United States.
Yoga for Fertility Instructor
Elana Ben-Haim inaugurated the Yoga for Fertility Program in 2012. Yoga is a second career for Elana, who has been a management consultant and strategic planner for over 20 years. Teaching yoga is her way to give back to the community, often through volunteer teaching. This enables women who might not have access to yoga, to experience its benefits. Elana was first certified as a yoga instructor through Kinneret Yoga, a Registered Yoga Alliance School in the US. This teachers' training is unique in that it uses Jewish-oriented sources, philosophy, mindfulness, metaphors, dialogue, and ethics as part of the course. Yoga for Fertility was developed while Elana pursued her second teachers' certification in Israel with Tzipi Negev, one of Israel's veteran teachers and current director of the Israeli Yoga Association. Elana conducted research on yoga and fertility as part of her training in Israel.
Clinical Health Psychologist
Oded Hammerman is a Clinical Health Psychologist, specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Hypnosis and Mindfulness techniques for stress reduction. Oded currently works as a psychologist at the Diabetes Unit, the Bariatric unit, the IBD center and the Hypnosis center of Hadassah hospital. Additionally, Oded works as a psychologist at the 'Functional Neurology Clinic' in Soroka University Medical Center and in Kuppat Holim Meuhedet. Oded has a BA in Psychology and Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an MA in Health Psychology from the Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College. He is currently doing his PhD at Ben Gurion University where he is studying psychological treatments for Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS).
Miri Yakoby holds a degree in social work. She works as a family therapist at the Center for Parents and Children "Ma'aleh Adumim” and guides social work students. Miri previously worked in family therapy and currently works in the field of domestic violence. She is a trained Mind-Body workshop leader in various areas, including infertility.
Torat Hamishpacha Consultant
Sara Sweibel, a consultant for Torat Hamishpacha, accompanies the Haredi women's Mind/Body groups, with love and sensitivity. Sara edited and translated the Jewish law book, Seder Mitzvoth HaNashim, an halachic and ethical book geared towards Ashkenazi women and written by Benjamin Selnick, the author of Masset Binyamin, in Yiddish in 1576. Additionally she teaches Torah courses to women and is the mother of eight children.
Jill Levenfeld was certified in 2014 as a Yoga instructor through the School of Integrative Yoga, founded and led by Tzippy Negev, the current director of the Israeli Yoga Association. She began the Yoga Journaling course in the Yoga for Fertility program at Keren Gefen. Jill developed the idea of Yoga Journaling during her teacher training, and created a series of practices under Tzippy's supervision. Jill facilitates an experience, while on the yoga mat, to reveal the unwritten stories hidden in our bodies through the integrative practice of yoga and journaling. Jill has had extensive experience in many different organizations as a facilitator over the last 15 years using the tool of personal stories to strengthen self-identity.
Yedida Freilich is a composer and pianist. She received a BMus from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and is in the process of qualifying for her MA in Music Therapy. Yedida plays therapeutic music at Hadassah hospital in various departments including IVF at the Rimon Center as well as rehabilitation and believes that music creates an atmosphere of empathy and calm in the stressful environment of a hospital.Her music eases pain and fear and helps improve the quality of life for the patient, family and staff.
Dr. Johanna Czamanski-Cohen
Johanna Czamanski-Cohen, PhD, ATR LPC (AZ) has over 10 years of clinical experience working in adult psychiatry and with women coping with chronic illness and infertility. Her PhD studies in Social Work and Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University included a clinical trial of cognitive behavioral interventions to reduce stress in women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment. Dr. Czamanski-Cohen is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the NCI R25T Cancer Prevention and Control training program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. She is conducting research on risk factors for depression and the development of interventions to reduce depression in women coping with breast cancer under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Weihs.
Nili Arbel is a certified group facilitator who specializes in Torah/ Jewish learning. She has a Bachelor's degree. and is a graduate of various Jewish Studies Institutes. In her work of over 15 years as a group facilitator Nili meets with women and men in meaningful and challenging times in their lives. In the workshops she connects in depth learning of Jewish sources and personal stories that the participants share, believing that this process has the power to add meaning and support in these times.
Be a Part of our Team
As our services grow we are continuously seeking new team members. If you are a therapist or yoga instructor looking to make a difference please get in touch.