Course Curriculum

14 weekly classes

from
October 28, 2019-
February 24, 2020

Session 1:  October 28, 2019
Session 2:  November 4, 2019
Session 3:  November 11, 2019
Session 4:  November 18, 2019
Session 5:  November 25, 2019
Session 6:  December 2, 2019
Session 7:  December 9, 2019

Session 8:    December 16, 2019
Session 9: 
  January 6, 2020
Session 10:  January 13, 2020
Session 11:  January 27, 2020
Session 12:  February, 3, 2020
Session 13:  February 10, 2020
Session 14:  February 24, 2020

Session 1: Introduction to a Jewish Couple’s Experience of Women’s Health and Jewish Law

Session Faculty: Matthew Cohen, MD, Yoetzet Halacha Dena Block
Date: October 28, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe overview of the real lived experiences of couples keeping Jewish Family Life laws.
  • Summarize halachic (Jewish Law) texts regarding using clinical language
    • Understand why couples may/may not be used to talking about anatomy, physiology
  • Summarize Talmudic discussions of female reproductive anatomy and discuss different approaches toward discrepancies between Talmudic descriptions and modern medical approaches.

Session 2: The Impact of Menstrual Staining on Women’s Observance of Jewish Law

Session Faculty: Deena Zimmerman MD MPH, Dena Block
Date: November 4, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Contrast Biblical and Rabbinic laws of uterine bleeding.
  • Recognize ramifications of menstrual staining on couples keeping Jewish Family Life laws.
    • Recognize the practical implications of distinguishing between a menstrual period and staining.
    • Describe the Jewish Law leniencies related to staining
    • Illustrate use of hormones and resulting staining and the struggle this poses for women.
    • Evaluate ramifications of staining/bleeding at various other stages of life or caused by menstrual abnormalities

Session 3: Preparing for Mikveh (Ritual Bath) Immersion

Session Faculty: Deena Zimmerman MD MPH, Dena Block
Date: November 11, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the laws that pertain to preparing for ritual Mikveh Immersion.
  • Assess whether a couple is experiencing “Religious Infertility” and determine protocol(s) to follow to ensure ritual immersion before ovulation.

Session 4: Mikveh Immersion

Session Faculty: Deena Zimmerman MD MPH
Date: November 18, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the Jewish law ramifications of medically needed equipment that may form a barrier to immersion (e.g. stitches, casts, ostomies, prostheses, dental work).
  • Describe required preparation for ritual immersion.

Session 5:  Understanding Patients’ varied attitudes on Sexuality and Intimacy

Session Faculty: Bat-Sheva Maslow MD, Dena Block
Date: November 25, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Contrast conflicting opinions on the permissibility of sexual pleasure in Jewish marriage.
  • Illustrate a healthy Jewish sexual ethic.
  • Describe the impact of halachic observance of sexual and intimacy abstinence rules on single adolescents and young adults.
  • Evaluate what can and cannot be done in sex therapy.
  • Understand when brides are/are not encouraged to see gynecologist before marriage.

Session 6: Impact of Childbirth and Medical Procedures on Women’s Observance

Session Faculty: Matthew Cohen MD, Dena Block
Date: December 2, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the transition to Niddah status during childbirth, and the impacts and options for the couple.
  • Evaluate medical procedures’ ramifications on a woman’s ritual status.

Session 7: Peripartum 

Session Faculty: Deena Zimmerman MD MPH
Date: December 9, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the postpartum experience for a woman keeping Laws of Family Life.
  • Identify Jewish Law’s perspective on breastfeeding.
  • Illustrate Jewish Law’s perspective on peripartum mental health.
  • Summarize the rules regarding pumping breastmilk on Sabbath.
  • Describe the rules of fasting as applicable to pregnant and breastfeeding patients.

Session 8: Other Medical Conditions

Session Faculty: Deena Zimmerman MD MPH and Dena Block
Date: December 16, 2019
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the rules relating to the origin of bleeding (uterine, cervical, vaginal).
  • Determine when a medical examination is necessary to determine the origin?
  • Evaluate breast and ovarian cancer prevention and treatment in Jewish law.
    • BRCA Testing
    • Religious impact of cancer treatments
    • Reconstructive surgery

Session 9: Family Planning

Session Faculty: Bat-Sheva Maslow MD, Dena Block
Date: January 6, 2020
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Contrast the varying perspectives on when contraception is permitted.
  • Describe permitted and prohibited contraceptive methods.

Session 10: Premarital Counseling of an Observant Couple

Session Faculty: Bat-Sheva Maslow MD, Dena Block
Date: January 13, 2020
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe relevant considerations regarding the timing of menstruation in relation to the wedding.
    • Study when it would be appropriate to consider hormone usage for cycle scheduling.
  • Illustrate the impact of hymenal bleeding on a woman’s ritual status.
  • Describe Jewish Law on premarital genetic testing and prenatal testing.

Session 11: Anticipating Menstruation with and without Hormonal Contraceptives

Session Faculty: Bat-Sheva Maslow MD, Dena Block
Date: January 27, 2020
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe anticipating menses in Jewish Law:
    • The impact of hormone use on the rules of anticipating menses
    • The impact of increased medical knowledge of physiology on
  • Summarize rules of conduct while Niddah:
    • Quick overview
    • How these laws are affected in situations of chronic illness, disability, or temporary illness (mild to severe)

Sessions 12-14: The Fertility Journey and Jewish Law

Session Faculty: Matthew Cohen MD, Bat-Sheva Maslow MD, Atara Eis, Karen Wasserstein, PsyD
Dates:  February 3, 10, 24
Time: 8:30-10 PM EST
Target Audience: medical and mental health professionals
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe issues relating to fertility treatments:
    • Is religious supervision of treatments required?
    • Procuring sperm samples
    • Must the woman undergo testing before the man, or may they begin diagnosis simultaneously?
    • Treatments on Sabbath
    • Third party reproduction