An example of a mikvah.

NEW YORK CITY– The Orthodox Union’s Women’s Initiative will offer its latest session in a series of professional development training programs for mikvah attendants and administrators on Oct. 31. It is part of the organization’s continued efforts to address and prepare mikvah professionals for the psycho-social aspects of mikvah attendees’ experiences.

The “virtual program” will feature lectures and training exercises pertaining to complex issues experienced by women in the Jewish community, and the corresponding impact on their mikvah experiences.

Sensitive subjects including domestic violence, cancer and fertility will be discussed throughout the course, which will encompass topics related to better helping attendants serve the women who utilize their mikvah. These include the use of sensitive language, addressing survivors of breast cancer, responding to the stresses of the mikvah night, supporting the obsessive-compulsive client, issues of intimacy and developing domestic abuse protocols. The program also will include training sessions for attendants on how to handle the challenges of postpartum depression, miscarriage, infertility and menopause.

Due to COVID-19, the seminar will include components to help participants navigate the uncertainty of safety at the mikvah, as well as provide much chizzuk to those who’ve spent the last 18-months maintaining families’ ability to perform taharas hamishpacha.

“The intimate nature of the mikvah experience may motivate women to confront issues that they have been managing in isolation.” said Founding Director of the OU Women’s Initiative Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman. “Should a woman decide to use her mikvah night as an opportunity to express the challenges she is facing, we want our attendants and professionals to be equipped to produce the most beneficial outcome that is possible for these individuals.”

Information is available at https://www.ou.org/.