Nishmat Fertility Counselors - In Cooperation with Gefen
Gefen is proud to announce the opening of the Jean Cohen Friedman Center for Fertility Education which was created in honor of Jean, who constantly gives of herself and creates a community of giving women around her. The focus of the center is on women’s empowerment through knowledge.
The center’s first project is a joint program with Nishmat: The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women, where we have trained and qualified Yoatzot Halacha (advisers in Jewish law) as Fertility Counselors for fertility challenged women.
The Nishmat Fertility Counselors are now serving the need in our community. This service is now available at no cost at MIDRESHET NISHMAT and at the GEFEN CENTER. Link to Program
Recent years have seen the recognition and training of women in a variety of fields. Today, the need for such a role is critical to advise and assist Jewish women undergoing fertility treatments regarding the halachic issues encountered in the course of treatment. The need for a religiously expert supportive female address has been recognized by Keren Gefen. The need has also been recognized by Nishmat, whose Yoatzot Halacha have been trained with basic knowledge of halachic-fertility issues; but who are limited in the extent of their assistance because of a lack of advanced halachic training this field.
Our program has trained a cadre of the most experienced and scholarly Yoatzot Halacha as Fertility Counselors (“Melavot Poriyut”).
We have created a synergist learning experience among the students, rabbis, psychologists and doctors – a joint learning experience which has allowed the growth of the next generation of Halachic advisers.
The fertility counselors have gone through extensive training; with a demanding curriculum embracing all relevant aspects medical, Halachic and psychological aspects of fertility issues. Training has included frontal medical and psychological lectures, shiurim and independent learning, as well as role playing among the staff and students.
The program has trained a flagship group of yoatzot halacha who qualified based on scholarship and personality. The core halachic studies take place under the guidance of Rabbi Yaakov Varhaftig, Dean of Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Yoatzot Halacha Institute, with additional rabbinic supplementation as needed.
Dr. Karen Friedman, founding director of Gefen Mind-Body Fertility Organization, together with Dr Rhonda Adessky, clinical psychologist, director of Program Development at Gefen, head the psychological training.
Dr. Jordana Hyman, Senior Physician in the dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology and in the IVF Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, heads the medical training program which included guest lectures from doctors who specialize in fertility from all over Israel and abroad.