The Canadian Yoatzot Initiative welcomes questions about hilchot niddah, the laws of family purity, as well as questions about the interface between women’s health and halacha.
Your question could include concerns related to:
- Mikveh immersion
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Family planning
- Marital intimacy
- Gynecological procedures
- Cancer treatment
- Mikveh-related issues
- Postpartum and breastfeeding
All contact is confidential and will not be shared with a third party without your permission. If you would like the Yoetzet to contact a specific rabbi in the process of answering your question, please indicate this in your message.
Meet our Yoetzet
Rifka Sonenberg teaches at Ulpanat Orot High School and is the resident educator at The House. She also teaches Torah privately. Rifka has a B.Sc. from York University and a teaching degree from Michlalah, Jerusalem. She spent three years studying at Nishmat, including one in Machon Gavoha, and is a yoetzet halacha trained in Nishmat’s Keren Ariel program.
Invite a yoetzet to have an intimate conversation with your kallah or niddah review class, your mommy and me class, a community group, with you and your menopausal friends, your cancer support group or just you and your friends.
To book a yoetzet email [email protected]
What is the Canadian Yoatzot Initiative?
The Canadian Yoatzot Initiative (CYI) connects individuals in the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada who have halachic questions to a yoetzet halacha, an halachic advisor, who can offer knowledgeable and sensitive advice in a timely fashion. Questions can be discussed directly via phone, email or through our webform.
The Canadian Yoatzot Initiative is run under the auspices of Mizrachi Canada in their capacity as a leading organization in Canada which looks to add value and enhance the modern Orthodox and religious Zionist community in Canada.
Why was the Canadian Yoatzot Initiative created?
- To create a forum that enables women to ask halachic questions pertaining to hilchot niddah and receive timely answers from a knowledgeable and sensitive advisor
- To facilitate asking sensitive, personal questions in a more comfortable way
- To provide answers to the immediate concern, as well as guidance for related questions arising in the future
- To engender positive feelings about the laws of niddah and the halachic system so that couples can observe these laws with greater commitment and understanding
- To provide education through shiurim, lectures, and one-on-one consultations so that women understand the laws of niddah and feel confident in their observance of them
What is a Yoetzet Halacha and where do they train?
A yoetzet halacha is an advisor in Jewish Law, certified at Nishmat by a panel of Orthodox rabbis to be a resource for women with questions related to taharat hamishpachah, an area of Jewish Law that relates to marriage, sexuality and women’s health. This role was devised to assist women who are more comfortable discussing very personal issues with another woman. Yoatzot are extremely knowledgeable but do consult with Orthodox rabbinic authorities when approached with questions which demand a posek or decisor’s attention.
Canadian Yoatzot Halacha are graduates of Keren Ariel Yoatzot Halacha Fellows Program at Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. Yoatzot Fellows, who are also trained in America through Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center, are chosen for their Torah scholarship, having spent multiple years studying halachic texts, as well as for their leadership ability and strong religious commitment. The two-year certification course includes over 1000 hours of intensive study of rabbinic texts under the direction of Rabbi Yaacov Warhaftig and Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin in Israel and Rabbi Kenneth Auman in the U.S. Yoatzot receive training from experts in modern medicine and psychology, including gynecology, infertility, women’s health, family dynamics, and sexuality. Over 100 yoatzot halacha have graduated from Nishmat programs in Israel and the U.S. since 1997. They work in Orthodox Jewish communities throughout Israel, North America, and in London, England.
Ask a Question
All contact is confidential and will not be shared with a third party without your permission.
Please choose one of the following to contact a yoeztet in Canada:
CALL: 1-855-YOATZOT (962-8968)
Please call and leave your name, phone number, a general description of your question and the best time to reach you. We will return your call within 24 hours, excluding Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
EMAIL: [email protected]
Please send an email with a description of your question. It is often helpful to discuss a question over the phone. If you are comfortable with this, please include your telephone number and the best time to reach you. We will respond within 24 hours, excluding Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
Donate to the Canadian Yoatzot Initiative
Looking to learn more about women’s health & halacha?
The Yoatzot Halacha work under the auspices of the Yoetzet Halacha Rabbinic Council of Canada, which was established by community Rabbis to offer support, halachic guidance and direction to the Yoatzot Halacha in our community. The Council will be working with the Yoatzot on a regular basis to create guidelines and general policies for the initiative.
Rabbi Eliott Diamond * Rabbi Seth Grauer * Rabbi Aaron Greenberg * Rabbi Charles Grysman * Rabbi Noam Horowitz * Rabbi Aaron Katchen * Rabbi Jay Kelman * Rabbi Daniel Korobkin * Rabbi Rafi Lipner * Rabbi Elan Mazer * Rabbi Avram Rothman * Rabbi Chaim Strauchler * Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner