Thank you for your article by Hannah Dreyfus on the importance of pre-marital sex education (“The Joy of Sex Ed,” July 17). It is heartening to see that The Jewish Week recognizes developments in the Orthodox world as we seek to strengthen that most fundamental and challenging cornerstone of Jewish life — an intimate, harmonious and halachically-strong marital relationship.
The Orthodox Union has been in the forefront of approaching marital intimacy in an open, sensitive and honest way. Recently, the OU partnered with Yeshiva University and Congregation Kneseth Israel to host a symposium for 125 female kallah [bride] teachers and rebbetzins. Presenting were an OB/GYN, a certified sex counselor, a clinical psychologist, a physical therapist, a Shalom Task force consultant, and experienced kallah teachers and rebbetzins. The wide range of attendees spanned the halachic and cultural spectrum. The OU will extend this multi-dimensional program to our male chattan [groom] teachers and to cities nationwide. Parallel symposia will enable greater understanding of the range of contemporary issues impacting Orthodox marriages.
In addition, the 23 college campus educator-couples of the OU’s Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (OU-JLIC) have for years helped to prepare engaged couples for healthy expressions of sexual intimacy and family purity. And the OU offers programs on marital harmony to local synagogues and communities at which issues of intimacy, among other topics, are discussed by halachic experts and professionals in the field.
Lay Chair, Department of Synagogue & Community Services Orthodox Union
Editor’s Note: The most recent poll, sponsored by the L.A. Jewish Journal and conducted after the agreement was announced, found that 49 percent of American Jews supported the Iran deal, with 31 percent opposed.