Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future and affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) announced today the launch of “Chosson Teacher Training: Teaching for Healthy Relationships Throughout Marriage,” a continuing rabbinic education course that aims to provide communal, campus and outreach rabbis with the skills and techniques they will need to help newly engaged couples prepare for their weddings and tackle the issues that will arise throughout marriage.

The eight-part online lecture series will explore the most effective methods for teaching about several crucial elements of the Jewish marital relationship, including Taharat Hamishpacha (the laws of family purity), sexuality and intimacy, birth control and infertility, fostering effective communication and conflict resolution skills, and developing realistic expectations for the marriage.

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The course, which includes 73 participants from around the world, including rabbis in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Israel, began on November 1 with an in-depth look at the role of the rabbi as a chosson teacher, both before the wedding and over the course of the marriage.

“This webinar series will equip rabbis with the tools and information they need to help young couples develop a framework for the construction of healthy and lasting Jewish marital relationships, the backbone of a strong Jewish future,” said Rabbi Naphtali Lavenda, Director of Online Rabbinic Programming at Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future.

“We have been supporting our rabbis in numerous ways for years, and there is consistent interest in nuanced instruction from trained professionals. With the launch of this newest offering, rabbis have an open platform to discuss and learn about becoming effective Jewish marital counselors in real-time from the top experts in the field.”

Throughout the two-month training period, participants will receive a thorough selection of reference materials and related articles. In between classes, participants will interact with one another via the course’s dedicated online forum and schedule offline conversations with the instructors, medical professionals and marital relationship experts.

“Rabbis approach premarital education and counseling from a unique perspective, as they often provide ongoing guidance and direction throughout a couple’s married life. This course builds upon the foundation of expertise in Taharat Hamishpacha accumulated through rabbinic training, and addresses much broader issues in building a healthy long-term relationship,” said Rabbi Yaakov Glasser, David Mitzner Dean of the CJF.

“We are particularly proud of the diversity of this cohort, especially the many campus rabbis who are joining us for this important course.”

The course’s impressive lineup of instructors includes Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life; Dr. David Pelcovitz, Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration; Rabbi Menachem Penner, dean of RIETS; Abby Lerner, rebbetzin and kallah teacher at the Young Israel of Great Neck; Dr. Martin Grajower, Clinical Associate Professor of Endocrinology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Rabbi Gideon Weitzman, director of the PUAH Institute; Dr. Scott Chudnoff, Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Dr. David Ribner, Chairman of the Sex Therapy Training Program at Bar Ilan University; Dr. Jonathan Lasson, a psychotherapist specializing in premarital education; Dr. Chani Maybruch, a private marital relationship educator; and numerous RIETS Roshei Yeshiva.

The “Chosson Teacher Training” course was cultivated by Rabbi Naphtali Lavenda, CJF Director of Online Rabbinic Programming, with the guidance of Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch, LSW, a psychotherapist and relationship coach, experienced chosson teacher, and faculty member in YU’s Stone Beit Midrash Program. The course is the fifth virtual continuing rabbinic education course organized and run by the Center for the Jewish Future in coordination with YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). In previous years, CJF ran online courses on the issues surrounding infertility, every stage of Jewish relationships, child abuse and the fundamentals of fundraising.

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