About Us


About Us

This website is a community service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. Its goal is to provide halachic and medical information about taharat hamishpachah and women's health. The rabbinic advisor to this site is Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin. The medical advisor is Deena Zimmerman, MD, MPH, IBCLC, one of the first graduates of Nishmat's Keren Ariel Institute to be certified as a Yoetzet Halacha. Dr. Zimmerman has authored the articles on this site unless otherwise noted.

Nishmat: The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women, established in 1990, offers women the opportunity to immerse themselves in Torah study at levels from beginners to the highest reaches of Torah scholarship. In 1997, Nishmat established the Keren Ariel Women's Halachic Institute to train Yoatzot Halacha, Women Halachic Consultants, under the direction of Rabbi Yaacov Varhaftig, Dean of the Institute, and Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin. Yoatzot Halacha are women certified by a panel of Orthodox rabbis to be a resource for women with questions regardingTaharat Hamishpachah (an area of Jewish Law that relates to marriage, sexuality and women's health). This role was devised to assist women who are more comfortable discussing very personal issues with another woman.

Women preparing to become Yoatzot Halacha are chosen for their extensive Torah scholarship, leadership ability, and deep religious commitment. They devote two years (over 1000 hours) to intensive study with rabbinic authorities in Taharat Hamishpachah. They receive training from experts in modern medicine and psychology, including gynecology, infertility, women's health, family dynamics and sexuality.

Yoatzot Halacha can be reached through this website (in English, Hebrew, French, or Spanish) or by telephone (in Hebrew and English) at Nishmat's Golda Koschitzky Women's Halachic Hotline.

For further information about Nishmat's other programs, visit the Nishmat web site.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.

All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.