New York – In an effort to provide women with an extra measure of comfort and guidance in their observance of family purity, an Israeli institution which trains carefully chosen candidates on the subject of Taharas Hamishpacha and other related topics is about to graduate its first class of American trained advisers.
While all yoatzot are certified by a panel of rabbanim in Israel, five American women bear the distinction of being members of the first class of yoatzot to be educated in the United States and will be officially graduating from Nishmat on October 27th. The new yoatzot include Mrs. Lisa Septimus, Mrs. Dena Block, Professor Nechama Price, Mrs. Tova Warburg Sinensky and Mrs. Avital Weissman, who serve as yoatzot in the Five Towns, Great Neck, Manhattan, Philadelphia and Plainview. Three other American yoatzot, Mrs. Bracha Rutner, Mrs. Shoshana Samuels and Mrs. Sara Cheses, who advise the Jewish communities in Riverdale, Teaneck, Tenafly, Los Angeles and at Yale University, were all educated in Israel.
According to Rabbanit Chana Henkin, founder and dean of Nishmat, the role of the yoetzet is to give women a greater comfort level when discussing issues of Taharas Hamishpacha.
“I taught Taharas Hamishpacha for years in many different communities and I found that women were hesitant to ask questions, which leads to both a lot of personal suffering as well as improper observance,” Rabbanit Henkin told VIN News. “It didn’t matter what community I was in, be it Modern Orthodox, Yeshivish, Sefardi, a kibbutz or anywhere else, women find it very uncomfortable to speak up about