Who We Are – Mission

Nishmat's Mission

  • – To give women full access to their Torah heritage at the highest level.
    – To meld unwavering commitment to halacha with rigorous educational standards, and a commitment to meet the religious needs of women.
    – To broaden the participation of women in religious life and leadership, creating women Torah scholars, educators and religious leaders capable of and committed to addressing the needs of the day.
    – To open gates of Torah learning to Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, and equip Ethiopians with skills to move from margins to mainstream of Israeli life.

About Us

Nishmat was founded in 1990 by Rabbanit Chana Henkin to open the gates of higher Torah learning to women. Nishmat is a trailblazer for women’s scholarship, leadership, and social responsibility, and a world leader in paving a new path for women in Jewish life. 

Ten years after its founding, Nishmat created the groundbreaking religious role of Yoatzot Halacha, women halachic advisors, in the most intimate halachic area of women’s reproductive health and Jewish Law. Nishmat’s Yoatzot Halacha enable women to live with fidelity to halachic expectations from a position of dignity and deep commitment. 

At the same time, the school established what has become an acclaimed advancement program for Ethiopian-Israelis, coupling Jewish studies with an intensive program moving talented young Ethiopian women from the social margins to the mainstream of Israeli society.