Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women, located in Jerusalem, pioneered the education and certification of Yoatzot Halacha.
Yoatzot Halacha are female advisors in taharat hamishpacha (family purity), 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.
In 1997, Nishmat established the Keren Ariel Women’s Halachic Institute to train Yoatzot Halacha, under the direction of Rabbi Yaacov Varhaftig, Dean of the Institute, and Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin z”l. In North America, Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center is home to the U.S. Yoatzot Halacha Fellows Program, led by its Dean, Rabbi Kenneth Auman.
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 of taharat hamishpacha, and are certified by a panel of Orthodox rabbis. In addition, they receive training from experts in medicine and psychology, including gynecology, fertility, women’s health, family dynamics, and sexuality. To learn more, please see our article on Becoming a Yoetzet Halacha.
As of the summer of 2023, close to 200 Yoatzot Halacha will have been certified in Israel and worldwide.
To learn more about the history of Yoatzot Halacha, visit our Milestones page.
To learn more about Nishmat, which offers a rich variety of Torah learning opportunities for women at all levels, please see the main Nishmat website.
How to reach a Yoetzet Halacha:
- Ask a question through this website, in English, Hebrew, French, or Spanish
- Call Nishmat’s Golda Koschitzky Women’s Halachic Hotline
- Find a Yoetzet Halacha in your community, in Israel, or worldwide via our map or directory.
- Arrange a free consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor.
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