Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash 90
View of a mikvah (ritual pool) for women, in the Israeli settlement of Alon Shvut on August 25, 2015. A mikvah is a small pool used for the purpose of immersion for ritual purification in Judaism.

The OU Women’s Initiative has announced plans to create a webinar series to address the important psychosocial issues that often confront a mikvah attendant as she prepares to assist a woman through the ritual of family purity.

The series is to be based on a recent training session entitled “Sense and Sensitivity” that was held in New York for 40 tri-state area mikvah attendants.

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Discussions during the session were focused on some of the more delicate and complex issues facing women in the Jewish community, including domestic violence, cancer, mental health, fertility, miscarriage and postpartum depression – and how these relate to their experience at the mikvah.

Topics included using language wisely and sensitively when relating to clients, addressing the medical-related needs of an ill client, supporting the obsessive-compulsive client, handling the client’s challenges of postpartum depression, miscarriage, infertility and menopause.

The program, originally piloted in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion for Greater Philadelphia mikvah attendants, is also set to be offered in the near future to mikvah attendants at a training in New Jersey as well.

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