Expanding Horizons for South American Young Women
"Having an open conversation in Spanish about sensitive personal matters was incredibly affirming," said Luna Kadycz, one of five Argentinian young women studying Torah in the Alisa Flatow International Program. "Yoetzet Halacha Goldie Katz Samson understands our Latin American culture. We related so well to everything she discussed."
When Yoetzet Halacha Goldie Katz Samson, a native of Mexico City now living in Jerusalem, heard that five recent high school graduates from Buenos Aires were studying at Nishmat during their "summer" break, she knew that she had to teach them about Yoatzot Halacha (Women Advisors in Jewish Law).
"Latin American Jewish communities have very traditional gender roles. They’re patriarchal in nature," said Katz Samson. "The notion of halachically knowledgeable women is so foreign to them. I felt compelled to teach these students how much Jewish women can achieve and overcome their perceived limitations."
Katz Samson explained the advanced scholarship of Yoatzot Halacha, how they help women and families world-wide and shared real-life scenarios. She encouraged the Argentinian students to further their Torah studies and even consider the goal of becoming a Yoetzet Halacha.
Compensating for limited resources in Spanish about taharat hamishpacha, Nishmat’s Yoatzot published a comprehensive online course on the subject in Spanish on www.yoatzot.org. This website, available in Spanish, English, French and Hebrew, also offers women the option of asking questions and receiving replies on women’s health and halacha.
"I was so inspired by Yoetzet Halacha Katz Samson," said Carmella Kadycz, Luna Kadycz's twin sister. "Yoatzot help diffuse so many potential conflicts, offering Jewish women emotional and psychological support, using theirhalachic and medical knowledge. I dream to one day possess such expertise."