Providing Support to Women

Rebbetzins Yarchei Kallah

The Center for the Jewish Future has developed one of the first formal programs in America designed to give rabbis' wives the opportunity to meet with seasoned professionals to discuss issues of self, family and community in a safe and supportive environment.

Begun in 2006, the yearly, two-day conferences have included more than 150 rabbis' wives, coming from large metropolitan areas and small towns across North America. The conference was renamed the Rebbetzin Esther Rosenblatt Yarchei Kallah by her family to honor her memory as an exemplary rebbetzin.

Participants have the opportunity to network, to enjoy the intellectual stimulation of Torah study with leading Jewish scholars and to develop lasting relationships and a support system. Session topics have included:

  • Women's Health and Halacha [Jewish law]
  • Generation Z Kids and Teens - What has Changed and How Do We Adapt?
  • Ten Hats and Counting: The Many Roles of a Rebbetzin
  • Handle with Care: Rewards and Challenges for Rabbis' Children
  • The Elusive Search for Spirituality: Practical Tips to Use and to Share
  • Struggles with Infertility: How to assist and understand from a communal, pastoral and personal perspective
  • A Deeper Look into How to Effectively Include People with Disabilities in Our Communities.
  • Financial Planning and Managing for the Rabbinic Family
  • Guidelines for teaching Taharat Hamishpacha
  • Refining a Healthy Rabbi-Rebbetzin Marriage

The theme of a recent Yarchei Kallah was, "The Rabbinic Family:  Developing Our Strengths and Embracing Our Challenges".

Yarchei Kallah for Rebbetzins Website

The Yarchei Kallah for Rebbetzins website was launched in 2014. This password-protected website is a depository for recordings and materials from the most recent conferences. It has a rolodex of contact information of professionals and organizations to use as resources and a forum for the Rebbetzins to share ideas and information.

Rebbetzins Cafe Yahoo group

Over 230 rebbetzins are members of The Rebbetzins Cafe, a Yahoo group, started in 2007, that serves as a forum for discussion, sharing information, advice and support. Topics include child-raising, promoting meaningful conversation at the Shabbat table, dealing with non-kosher birthday parties, motivating a greater observance of Halacha, sharing ideas for fundraisers, classes, chesed projects, gift-giving, smachot, family/community balance and interpersonal challenges.

Resources and Mentoring

Resources and mentoring are available by e-mail and by phone to rebbetzins throughout the year through the Rebbetzins Programming coordinator, Meira Davis.

The Rebbetzin Elaine Wolf a"h Rebbetzin to Rebbetzin Mentoring program in conjunction with the OU, coordinated by Reb. Dr. Adina Shmidman, pairs up newer rebbetzins with more experienced mentors for a year-long supervised mentorship program.

Periodic conference calls, presented and facilitated by professionals on relevant topics are available to the Rebbetzins.

Parsha questions and mini Divrei Torah are sent each week to all the Rebbetzins.

Kallah Teacher Training Programs

During the Nine Days, an intensive three-day Kallah Teacher Training Course, taught by Rebbetzin Peshi Neuburger is offered in Teaneck.

Yimei Iyun for Kallah Teachers, Rebbetzins and Mechanchot are offered in NY, NJ and Florida, in conjunction with the OU.

Semikha Wives Program

Wives of advanced Semikha students, on the pulpit track, are invited, sometimes with their husbands, to a series of sessions to prepare them for a future in the rabbinate. These meetings, coordinated by Rebbetzin Adeena Penner, provide the opportunity for the future rebbetzins to create connections between themselves as a peer group with many similar considerations and circumstances.

Midrashiya Program at Gruss Kollel in Jerusalem

The Rebbetzins Programming coordinator, Meira Davis, and her husband meet with the wives of the Gruss Kollel students every year for a session on "Working together as a Rabbinic Couple."