Selected Testimonials from our Mikveh Attendant Courses
Last night I had a woman who cried a long time at the mikveh. I asked her, ‘Do you want to share the reason you’re crying?’ The woman told me she has difficult fertility problems which are now affecting her marital relationship. I just listened and then said, ‘You should know you’re not alone.’ We spoke a little more and I referred her to Mercaz Panim, which I know can help support her. Before the course I would not have known what to say to her, but since we practiced using role plays, learned that the most important thing is to affirm the woman’s pain, and learned where to refer for help, I am not afraid to open the conversation. She thanked me profusely and said our talk changed her thinking and gave her the feeling that she is not alone.”
Carmit is a balanit in Bat Yam who recently completed The Eden Center mikveh attendants course. Because of the education she received in the course, she knew how to sensitively refer an abused woman for help, and guide her mother for support.
“A woman came to the mikveh and didn’t look me in the eyes even when I spoke directly to her. After she came out of the mikveh I said, ‘I feel like something is bothering you. Is everything okay?’ She brushed it off, so I said, ‘You shouldn’t go home feeling upset. I’m here to listen if you want to share.’ We started talking, and somehow it came out that the woman’s husband, a well known Haredi rabbi, beat her and her nine children. She was scared and embarrassed to say anything, lest it tarnish her husband’s reputation or the shidduch chances of the kids. I was really happy when she took the number for the Crisis Center and promised to call.”
“Where I live, it isn’t unusual for the mikveh attendant to ask for a ride home from the last woman who immerses at the end of the night. In the past I have done so frequently, asking the woman as she comes out of the water if I can have a ride. After I heard your lecture about women’s expectations and common sensitivities, I decided to try something different. That night, I waited until the woman was fully dressed, and only when she walked past the reception did I ask her for a ride. I couldn’t believe how happy that made her and her thanks for not asking her by the mikveh. She said, ‘I am so embarrassed when the balanit asks me for a ride as I stand naked in the mikveh. I feel that this is my intimate time with myself. The truth is that I stopped going to a different mikveh where the balanit used to ask me for a ride just as I was coming out of the water. It is such an unpleasant feeling! Thank you for respecting my privacy and the sanctity of the moment.‘”
It’s so great to get together with other mikveh ladies and have a chance to network and continue to grow. Each time we delve into a new topic that is so relevant to me as a mikveh lady. Everyone in the group really appreciates these opportunities to come together and share our experiences”.
Selected Testimonials from our Advanced Kallah Teacher Courses
The Eden Center’s advanced course on sexuality for madrichot kallot was well structured and focused. In addition to a wide range of topics on sexuality, it allowed time for processing and disseminating the information individually. Despite my previous participation in similar (parallel) courses, I was introduced to new material and new ways of presenting familiar information in a more comfortable way. I particularly appreciated the clear boundaries regarding our target audience, what information we were qualified to present and what situations we could be expected to handle (which wasn’t in place in other programs), as well as the guidance on how to refer for more complicated situations.”– Nechama Barash Goldman, Advanced Kallah teacher and Yoetzet Halakha
“I’m so appreciative for the way you bring up the discussions and give us practical guidance in dealing with things. I have known the signs of an abusive relationship for years, but this is the first time I was actually guided in what to say in a situation in which I suspected it. And when there is a template, and a clear tool with a formula for what to say, if I were to come to a situation like that, I now feel like I would actually know what to do.”-Chava Lesselbaum
Selected Testimonials from our Hatan Teacher Courses
“I feel so much more competent about teaching a hatan after the course. I sharpened my knowledge of halakha, and learned so much about how to guide a hatan about intimacy or creating the feeling of partnership around mikveh. The sessions with Dan [the facilitator] brought things to an emotionally meaningful level. And the best thing is that the group have really become resources for me – we consult with each other and share ideas, even 6 months after the course.”
“I learned a tremendous amount, and was quite excited to put my newly acquired knowledge into practice. When teaching one of my first hattanim after the course an issue came up that I discussed with the Kallah teacher — something I had not necessarily expected to do, but which the course taught me can be important. Similarly, I recently had a young man come to me who related that he often watched porn. I wasn’t shocked, and was able to guide him about how to speak to his kallah about the topic.”