Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women, pioneered the education and certification of Yoatzot Halacha, Women Consultants in Jewish Law. In Jerusalem, Nishmat’s Keren Ariel Yoatzot Halacha Fellows Program is under the direction of Rabbi Yaacov Verhaftig. In the North America, Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center is home to the U.S. Yoatzot Halacha Fellows Program, led by its Dean, Rabbi Kenneth Auman. More than 110 certified Yoatzot Halacha serve Jewish women and couples throughout the world.
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.
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