Together with Keren Gefen, Nishmat trains and certifies a cadre of the most experienced and scholarly Yoatzot Halacha as Fertility Counselors. They provide a religiously expert supportive female address to help couples navigate the challenging process of fertility treatment.
Nishmat publishes Sefer Nishmat HaBayit, a volume of responsa on the topics of pregnancy, birth and family planning. Written by members of the Women’s Halachic Research Institute, edited by Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbanit Chana Henkin, and sponsored in memory of Marcos Katz, the book gives voice to the experience and scholarship of Yoatzot Halacha.
Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center partners with the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus to offer an online kallah teacher training program. Yoetzet Halacha Shoshana Samuels leads the 16-part webinar series for 15 OU-JLIC educators.
“… the introduction of Yoatzot Halacha trained and certified by Nishmat, has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of hilchot nidda and related sheelot posed by women, who are asking far more sheelot than ever before, and receiving responses from a cadre of dedicated, knowledgeable and committed women.”
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter of Yeshiva University, addresses the graduates: “Today is a Yuntif! Thanks to the dogged determination and ferocious tenacity of Rabbanit Chana Henkin, we have merited in our time to see the emergence of women as formidable Torah Scholars.”
Nishmat receives a government contract to train mikveh attendants throughout Israel. Yoetzet Halacha Rotem Glasser designs and leads the course. Topics include first aid, communications skills, women’s health, OCD, fear of water, sexuality, domestic violence, and spirituality.
Rabbi Yona Reiss, Av Beit Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, says, “These remarkable women are poised to play a pivotal role in promoting taharat hamishpacha, facilitating happy and healthy marriages, and enabling the birth of more beautiful Jewish children in the world…”
Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center establishes a Yoatzot Halacha Fellows Program in the US. Faculty include Rabbi Kenneth Auman (Dean), Rabbi Gedalyah Berger (Senior Lecturer), and Yoetzet Halacha Atara Eis (Director). Over 50 mainstream Orthodox rabbis sign on to the honorary rabbinic committee in support of Yoatzot Halacha.
Dr. Felix Glaubach establishes Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center to honor his cherished wife, Dr. Miriam Glaubach. The Center’s mission is to enhance women’s observance of the laws of taharat hamishpacha and bring the expertise and compassion of Nishmat’s Yoatzot Halacha to Jewish communities across North America.
Nishmat launches yoatzot.org, sponsored in memory of Chaya Mirel bat Avraham, to allow women world-wide to reach Yoatzot Halacha, In 2004, jewishwomenshealth.org for health professionals is dedicated in memory of Mindel bat R’ Chaim.Yoetzet Halacha Dr. Deena Zimmerman directs the English websites, and Rav Yehuda Henkin provides halachic supervision.
Nishmat establishes a telephone hotline as an anonymous, discreet, woman-to-woman address for questions in taharat hamishpacha and women’s health. Every evening, Yoatzot Halacha answer questions under the supervision of Rabbis Yaacov Warhaftig and Yehuda Henkin.
An initial class of eight women is selected based on extensive Torah scholarship, leadership ability, and deep religious commitment. For two years, they study halacha under the mentorship of outstanding scholars, with a detailed supplementary curriculum in women’s health. In 1999, they complete their examinations and are certified as the first Yoatzot Halacha.