So much of Judaism’s rich tradition revolves around family and lifecycle events that holidays and even day-to-day living can be particularly painful for Jewish couples confronting fertility challenges. Today, reproductive medicine offers cutting-edge procedures that give hope to fertility challenged couples, but also raise startling ethical and halachic questions. Nishmat, with 122 Yoatzot Halacha world-wide who answer hundreds of thousands of questions from Jewish women and couples about halacha and its interface with medicine, sexuality and wellness, responded to this challenge by recruiting a cadre of 21 Yoatzot Halacha to become Fertility Counselors. Together with the Gefen Foundation in Jerusalem, Nishmat provided intensive medical, psychological and halachic training that enables the newly certified Yoatzot Halacha Fertility Counselors to address wide-ranging concerns that affect couples during their quest to become parents. Applying their many years of experience counseling Jewish women in every stage of married life, these Yoatzot Halacha specialists provide personal and emotional support, direct couples to supportive medical information, interface with medical specialists and provide accessible and authoritative halachic instruction. As a group, they keep up-to-date on the latest technologies and implications for Jewish law.
YH Fertility Counselors are available through Nishmat’s Golda Koschitzky Halachic Hotlineand on www.yoatzot.org. In Jerusalem, they offer in-person consultations at Nishmat’s new Fertility Support Center on the Dr. Monique C. Katz Campus in Pat. Plans are underway to launch live video personal consultations and webinars to assist Jewish women and couples world-wide. To learn more about Nishmat’s Yoatzot Halacha Fertility Counselors or to arrange a confidential consultation, write to [email protected].