Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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How to Become a Yoetzet Halacha

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“Keren Ariel provided me with previously unavailable halachic knowledge that qualifies me to help women, to contribute my talents to the community, and to be part of the wider halachic discussion. I am delighted now to be able to mentor yoatzot-in-training.”

Noa Lau, Program Coordinator and Moshe & Charlotte Green Scholar in Jewish Law.

Nishmat’s groundbreaking Yoatzot Halacha program is among the leading halachic studies programs for women today. The two-year Keren Ariel fellowship program at Nishmat’s center in Jerusalem provides in-depth study of Hilchot Niddah under the mentorship of outstanding scholars and poskim, as well as a full curriculum dedicated to women’s health.

Applicants are selected on the basis of their religious commitment,Torah scholarship, fluency in original halachic texts, and demonstrated leadership potential.

The learning day extends from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, and is devoted primarily to chavruta learning. Students study the full curriculum of the laws of Taharat HaMishpacha, including the Talmudic sources and commentaries, the major halachic codes, and responsa literature. Weekly shiurim by Rabbis Yaakov Varhaftig and Assaf Bednarsh and Yoetzet Halacha Noa Lau are supplemented by classes with prominent poskim. Rabbinic authorities are accessible to answer questions and discuss issues. In addition, a panel of visiting specialists and professionals teach evening medical studies and seminars.

Throughout the course of study, each fellow must pass detailed written exams. At the end of the two-year program, the candidate is tested orally on the entire halachic subject matter by four leading rabbinic examiners. Upon passing this stage, each woman completes a training program to aquire practical tools for offering halachic counsel. At this point, the candidate becomes a certified Yoetzet Halacha.

Nishmat is committed to developing leadership opportunities for the Yoatzot Halacha. Many graduates are employed by Nishmat’s Golda Koschitzky Women’s Halachic Hotline, which responds to thousands of halachic inquiries each year. Nishmat also employs Yoatzot Halacha on the Nishmat Yoatzot websites to answer questions in Hebrew, English, French, and Spanish. In addition, Yoatzot Halacha are engaged in research and writing, both under the auspices of the Nishmat HaBayit Research Institute, and in leading Jewish journals. Yoatzot are an address for thousands of women in their communities and teach classes that draw on their extensive knowledge of both halacha and women’s health.

Our program for Yoatzot Halacha takes place over the course of two years. Our current cohort started in September 2023, and the next one will begin in September 2025. Applications for our next program can be submitted in the winter of 2025. For more information about the Keren Ariel Program click here or contact [email protected].

To meet international demand for Yoatzot Halacha, American Friends of Nishmat inaugurated the U.S. Yoatzot Halacha Fellows Program (YH-US) in September 2011, through Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center. For more information about qualifications for acceptance and course of study, please see here, or contact Program Director Atara Eis.

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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.

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