Health and Halacha Virtual Conference
Sunday, May 2
IF I AM NOT FOR MYSELF: SELF-CARE
IF I'M ONLY FOR MYSELF: FAMILY-CARE
Zooming in, Zooming out: Interpersonal Relationships in our Time
Yoetzet Halacha Racheli Taubes and Rabbi Yaakov Taubes
This “unprecedented” year challenged our interpersonal relationships. As we recover and heal, let’s discuss the laws pertaining to interpersonal relationships and use them to build better connections and friendships with other people.
Shana Rishona: Building Healthy Intimacy
Yoetzet Halacha Shiffy Friedman, Rabbi Elan Mazer and Rachel Hercman
Let’s get started on the right foot! Fortify your new relationship with Torah-based, data driven skills for healthy intimacy in and out of the bedroom.
Among other topics, we will tackle the challenges of Shana Rishona during the pandemic: makeshift weddings, extended quarantines and mikveh closures.
Everything Egg Freezing
Yoetzet Halacha Adina Blaustein and Dr. Bat-Sheva Maslow
- How exactly does the technology work? How successful is it?
- Will this technology discourage young women and men from committing to relationships, which always need investment?
- Should we be concerned that it will increase the possibility that someone will explore single parenthood? Autonomy versus regulation of the process. Is single parenthood ever a halachically-sanctioned option?
- How can it help possible agunah situations?
- What are the halachic, hashkafic and ethical considerations when considering egg freezing?
- At what age should we be discussing this advancement with our daughters? At what age should we be considering it for ourselves, and in what circumstances?
Sustaining Passion in Perimenopause
Yoetzet Halacha Rivka Alter and Suri Halpern
Educating our Children for Healthy and Holy Intimacy
Yoetzet Halacha Ilana Gadish, Dr. Yardaena Osband and Rachel Tuchman
As parents, we have the unique, but often daunting, opportunity and responsibility to prepare our children for healthy, Torah infused approaches to intimacy and sexual relationships. What makes these conversations so challenging for so many people? What attitudes and habits should we adopt and practice to instill the right values in our children? What do we do if we may not have seen that modeled in our own childhood? How does online safety and responsible digital citizenship play into preparing our children for lives of kedusha?
Thorns in the Hedge of Roses? Challenges Keeping Taharat Hamishpacha
Yoetzet Halacha Atara Eis and Dr. Shy Krug
Optimism and Resilience One Year Later
Yoetzet Halacha Nechama Price, Rabbi Elan Mazer, Rabbi J.J. Schacter & Yocheved Shana Schacter, LCSW
Keynote Address: Stability in the Eye of the Storm
Rabbanit Chana Henkin, interviewed by Sivan Rahav Meir
Domestic Abuse and Get Refusal
Rabbi Yona Reiss, Dr David Pelcovitz, Keshet Starr
Inspiring Religious Growth in our Ourselves and in our Children
Yoetzet Halacha Shayna Goldberg
As parents, we think constantly about how to effectively impart our deepest values to our children. This lecture will discuss some principles that can be helpful in developing an approach built on trust in ourselves and our children.
Care or Compulsion: Taharat HaMishpacha and Scrupulosity
Yoetzet Halacha Shira Donath and Dr. Regine Galanti
Dealing with Difficult Relationships: Famous In-law Stories of the Torah
Yoetzet Halacha Nechama Price
So, I Married an Addict
Yoetzet Halacha Lisa Septimus and The Frock NYC's Chaya Chanin
Addiction has the power to snatch lives and wreck relationships. Join us for a conversation between YH Lisa Septimus and The Frock’s Chaya Chanin, who will draw from her first-hand experience with this challenge. How do spouses navigate the rocky road of handling their spouse’s illness? What boundaries are necessary for their own wellbeing and for their spouse’s wellbeing? We will learn about local and global resources and support groups.
What Men and Women Really Want
Yoetzet Halacha Rifki Freundlich and Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich, Diana Melnick
Learn from this remarkable Rabbinic couple and insightful couples therapist about balancing different needs, desires, communication styles and perspectives that are more typical for women and men. What Torah-based ideas can help us build healthy relationships?
Social Media: Selfies and Self Image
Yoetzet Halacha Lisa Septimus and Dr. Sarah Roer Bendheim
“Selfie culture” and everything it represents is impacting our own self-esteem, sense of self and relationship building. How is it impacting our children and the way in which they are socializing? What does Torah have to say about successfully managing the challenges of “Selfie culture”?
Yoetzet Halacha Rachelle Sprecher Fraenkel and Elisheva Liss
Even couples with great chemistry will find discrepancies in desire throughout their marriages. Why? What Torah-based ideas can we unlock that are consonant with modern psychological techniques and perspectives in order to tackle common challenges and enhance our marriages?
Postpartum will be among the times that will be addressed as ripe for renegotiation.
Mental Health in Halacha
Yoetzet Halacha Rachelle Sprecher Fraenkel and Dr. Chana Gelb
Monday, May 3
FERTILITY JOURNEY FEATURING NISHMAT’S FERTILITY COUNSELORS,
THE FOUR TRIMESTERS
Fertility Journey I: Diagnosis
Yoetzet Halacha Laurie Novick, Dr. Jordana Hyman and Dr. Rhonda Adessky NOTE: BEGINS AT 1:30 PM
From diagnosis to treatment, the fertility journey confronts us with choices and challenges. Join a holistic discussion about the diagnostic process, addressing medical, halachic and emotional aspects of questions such as: Which tests come first, and why? Must the wife go first? What’s the best procedure for obtaining semen samples? How do diagnostic procedures interact with the laws of niddah?
Prenatal Genetic Screening
Yoetzet Halacha Rifki Freundlich, Rabbi Kenneth Auman and Dr. Nathan Fox
As the accuracy of non-invasive prenatal genetic screening has improved drastically over the last five years, physicians have moved away from the more invasive diagnostic testing whenever possible, and screening has become even more pervasive. Join this informative conversation about the medical, halachic and ethical ramifications of the latest technology and options for maternal and fetal health.
Fertility Journey II: Treatment
Yoetzet Halacha Atara Eis, Dr. Bat-Sheva Lerner Maslow, Dr. Karen Wasserstein
From diagnosis to treatment, the fertility journey confronts us with choices and challenges. Join a holistic discussion about the most common fertility treatments. Topics covered include:
- Do any therapeutic treatments render a woman niddah?
- Is religious supervision of procedures required?
- What are the parameters regarding: Selective Fetal Reduction in halacha?
- Can we dispose of eggs if/when not needed?
- How can we troubleshoot ovulation before mikveh?
Rescripting Maternal Mental Health
Dvora Entin, LCSW, Dr. Naomi Greenblatt and Yoetzet Halacha Tova Warburg Sinensky
Pregnancy and the post-partum period can be a wonderful experience for many. For others, it is fraught with complexity and challenge. Join our panelists for a conversation about how couples can identify challenges and receive the halachic and mental health support they need, the costs and benefits of pregnancy and medication, and how the motherhood experience can be rescripted in order to maximize mental health for the woman and couple.
Breastfeeding in Halacha
Yoetzet Halacha Dr. Deena Zimmerman, IBCLC and Chanie Fingerer, RN
Must I breastfeed? How do I pump on Shabbat? How do I manage fasting on Yom Kippur and Tish’a B’Av without impacting myself, my baby and my milk supply? Join Yoledet Academy Chani Fingerer with Yoetzet Halacha, pediatrician and lactation consultant Deena Zimmerman for a data-driven halachic discussion, rooted in the real experiences of women.
Sperm Donors, Egg Donors, and Surrogates: Halacha in Practice
Adv. Yoetzet Halacha Yardena (Cope- Yossef) Bodenheimer & Dr. Sahar Wertheimer
Cutting-edge reproductive technology has introduced medical procedures considered science fiction a few short years ago. Gamete donation and gestational carriers have enabled many people to build families, and simultaneously raise a host of halachic, ethical and legal questions: who is the mother? In what cases would conversion be required? How should the State of Israel regulate sperm donation and in all cases where gamete donation is involved, be able to prevent incestuous marriages? How should the rabbinic courts treat requests for conversion of children born through ART?
Tuesday, May 4
Going Hormone Free? Fertility Awareness Method & Halacha
Yoetzet Halacha Adi Bitter
Have you been considering finding a contraception that is hormone free? Perhaps you’ve heard through the grapevine about the fertility awareness method. But is it really a viable option for a couple that keeps halacha? Alternatively, you’re trying to conceive and are using fertility awareness method to optimize your chances. Anything to keep in mind as you practice FAM?
Learn your Family Business! (and prevent cancer)
Yoetzet Halacha Atara Segal, Dr. Ellen Warner, Melissa Rosen of Sharsheret
Fifty percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes. In addition to following a healthy lifestyle – what can you do to reduce your risk? This session is for women and men, with or without a family history of cancer, to give them tools to take action. We invite you to learn how to detect cancer earlier or, even better, reduce your risk dramatically.
Contraception Confusion: Options and Consequences
Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses and Dr. Rachel Weinerman
Mikveh with a Medical Challenge
Yoetzet Halacha Dena Block and Dr. Elissa Hellman
How do PICC lines, ostomy bags, glucose monitors and other medical solutions impact mikveh usage? In what ways can we improve mikveh accessibility for women with different disabilities?
Pull at the Heartstrings or Knot in the Stomach: Family Planning after 35
Yoetzet Halacha Rifka Sonenberg and Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Yoetzet Halacha Bracha Rutner, Dr. Scott & Rivki Chudnoff
Let’s break the stigma against various forms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and help women get support and treatment that can improve their lives and general wellbeing and treating sexual pain. Learn about the halachic considerations that arise both for those suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction and from different treatments.
Pelvic Pain, Painful Periods, Unexplained Infertility: Endometriosis and its Halachic Implications
Yoetzet Halacha Dr. Jordana Topp and Dr. Iris Orbuch
Endometriosis often goes misdiagnosed for years and can have profound impact on a woman’s health, wellbeing and fertility. Learn from world renowned endometriosis specialist Iris Orbuch, author of “Beating Endo”, and the halachic side from Yoetzet Halacha Jordana Topp.
Midor LeDor: Preconception Genetic Testing
Yoetzet Halacha Ilana Gadish, Dr. Larry Platt and Dr. Hindi Posy
The number of identified genetic mutations for which a couple can test before conceiving has exploded over the last decade, and at this point we take for granted that couples test for these mutations and prevent tragedy through PGD technology. But the reality and experience are more complex than that.
- What catalyzed this historical shift toward encouraging testing over the last forty years?
- Are there any halachic parameters or limitations regarding testing?
- Should we be encouraging open testing or more of a “Dor Yesharim” model?
Wednesday, May 5
CELEBRATING 21 YEARS OF NISHMAT YOATZOT HALACHA
From Classic Questions to Confronting Covid: 21 Years in the Field
Yoatzot Halacha Hadassa Klein, Shira Donath and Nechama Price
A panel of Yoatzot Halacha who work in different community capacities as Yoatzot Halacha reflect on the impact of Nishmat’s Yoatzot Halacha upon halachic observance, women’s Torah study, and their own personal lives.
Yoatzot In Action
Makeup, Manicures & Mikveh
Yoatzot Halacha Hindy Feder and Bracha Rutner
Are you wondering why there seem to be such different opinions on whether you can immerse with gel nails, fake eyelashes or hair extensions? Are you past the age of mikveh use but surprised to hear that this is even a discussion, since when you used mikveh, it was a given that it was off-limits to immerse with any foreign items on our body? Hear what the hype is all about, and get some great beauty tips along the way.
Can't I Do My Tevilah in the Tub? Coronavirus and the Makeshift Mikveh
Yoetzet Halacha Stacey Goldman and Rabbi Gedalyah Berger
The frightening early days of Covid-19 unleashed a torrent of anxious and heated conversations about mikveh safety, as we were flooded by inconsistent information and needed to make sense of what was fact and what was fiction. Social media quickly circulated unsubstantiated claims that there might be precedent for using a bathtub as a mikveh. Let’s discuss the halachic foundations of this discussion and why this is typically not a halachically valid option, and simultaneously we will pray it won’t resurface as a practical consideration ever again.
Yoatzot In Collaboration
Moreh Derech: Rav Yehuda Herzl Henkin ZT"L and the Yoatzot Halacha
Yoetzet Halacha Laurie Novick
A renowned halachic authority, Rav Yehuda H. Henkin served for decades as Posek for Nishmat and its Yoatzot Halacha. In that capacity, he worked closely with Yoatzot Halacha, guiding them in responding to specific questions and in shaping halachic policy. Learn about his approach to halacha and to developing the skills and knowledge of the Yoatzot Halacha.