Center for the Jewish Future Offers Guidance and Support for Rabbis’ Wives

Feb 8, 2007 — Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) has developed what is believed to be the first formal program at any rabbinical school in America designed to give rabbis’ wives the opportunity to meet with professionals to discuss issues of self, family, and community in a safe and supportive environment. The second Annual “Rebbetzins’ Yarchei Kallah” program will take place from February 12-14 at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, NJ.

The conference is for wives of rabbis who are participants in the Yarchei Kallah Program which is part of the Legacy Heritage Fund Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative.

Rabbis’ wives face an increasingly complex series of opportunities and challenges in the 21st century. Many seek their own identities while striving to assist their husbands and fill the traditional role of a rabbi’s wife. Until recently, there wasn’t a “road map” that addresses their evolving role and provides them with guidance on how to navigate family and professional responsibilities.

“Rabbis’ wives play a pivotally important role, indeed many roles, in their communities,” said Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, the internationally prominent rabbi who serves as Senior Scholar of the CJF and is directing this initiative. “Contemporary Orthodox Jews, from rabbis and rabbis’ wives to lay leaders and community members, are sophisticated, intelligent and rooted professionally and culturally in the secular world while living traditional Jewish lives,” said Rabbi Schacter. “We must ensure that they have the tools and guidance necessary to lead these lives creatively and intellectually, now and in the future.”

Over 40 rabbis’ wives, from 32 cities throughout the US and Canada will attend this conference where they will partiicipate in sessions such as “The Blessing and Fulfillment of Being a Rebbetzin,” “Physical and Mental Abuse in Families,” “Raising Healthy Children.” In addition, they will have mentoring sessions in which more experienced rebbetzins will provide insights and respond to questions raised in the sessions.

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