The Eden Center was thrilled to host 300 participants at our national mikveh attendant conference מדברים איתך in Hadassah Har Tzofim on April 23, 2018. Held in partnership with Hadassah Hospital and Tahareinu, we brought together mikveh attendants from all over the country for this special day. The atmosphere was incredible and the balaniyot learned from top medical professors, community leaders, and psychologists, as well as participating in discussion groups to raise their own ideas and solutions.
The conference focused on: Women’s Health, Disabilities and Ten Todah (appreciation of the attendants).
- Women’s Health
Tamar El Ram, Director of Hadassah Har Hatzofim Medical Center introduced the day by celebrating the connection of women’s physical and spiritual health with our partnership. Lectures were then presented by top Hadassah doctors who did an excellent job giving relevant and clear medical information to mikveh attendants. Dr. Albert Greenspoon spoke on BRCA and Breast Health, Dr. Yuval B’Dolah did QA with Rav Yitzhok Melber of Tahareinu on PCOS, and Dr. Devorah Baumen enlightened the women on questions on birth control.
“The purpose of educating the attendants in women’s health isn’t for them to diagnose or treat a woman, rather that they know what to look for to direct women to a professional when necessary. Many times women share personal concerns when they come to the mikveh and it’s critical to know how to direct them.” Dr. Naomi Grumet
Each conference participant received a copy of our publication Tikvah V’tahara, a guide for attendants about breast cancer and the mikveh. Knesset member Shuli Moalem – Refaeli spoke movingly about her personal experience as a survivor, and the power of the attendant to create a spiritually transformative and healing moment in the mikveh.
The thanks for sharing this resource was immense:
“I read it when I came home from the conference, again in bed and I am rereading it today because it is so informative and exactly what we need to know. אשריכם!”
Our focus on how to sensitively welcome women with any of a range of physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities was addressed by a panel of Michele Thaler, Cher Tennenbaum, אפרת פלבני, and Oriah Jerbi who shared experiences of coming with paralysis, dystonia, blindness and cognitive disability. Rabbi Zvi Porat, Rav of Alyn and at Tel HaShomer, outlined the halakhic components of making tevilla possible for every disabled women.
3) Appreciation- תן תודה
The Eden Center took on an initiative as part of Israel’s 70th birthday celebrations to collect thank you letters to mikveh attendants across the county. Hundreds of letters were collected, and shared at the conference as part of the ‘Ten Days of Thanks’.
“We went home and to our mikvaot with tools to work with and to further elevate the Taharah of Jewish women. You are our partner in each one of these meaningful immersions and may you be blessed.”
Among the questions that were raised during the day:
- How can a woman with a catheter immerse in a mikveh? With a hole in her eardrum? A PICC line?
- What are some meaningful ways for a woman to make her last mikveh visit (because of medically induced menopause) meaningful?
- How should a mikveh attendant speak to a mentally disabled woman who comes to the mikveh to immerse? Should there be any difference between her visit and any other woman? Who should be getting a mammogram or a sonogram or a manual breast exam?
- Are non-ashkenazi women affected by BRCA1 or 2? Are there other genes responsible for the rise in cancer? Is use of Birth control related to increased cancer rates?
- What can be done for a young woman with Polycystic ovaries?
- What can you as a mikveh attendant do to help a woman whom you suspect is suffering from depression without being intrusive?
A great summary can be found here.
Thanks again to our partners: Tahareinu, Hadassah, Misrad Hadatot, Bayer, ABRASBA, Keren Shalem and the Jerusalem Municipality
To View all the Photos from this special day.
Summary video– coming soon!