In Shifra's Arms: Jewish Unplanned Pregnancy Assistance
December 8, 2015 - Washington, D.C. In Shifra’s Arms (ISA), the nation’s only Jewish organization devoted to assisting vulnerable pregnant women, premiered its first web commercial at a private home in Potomac, MD on Sunday November 15th.
The commercial features Jewish women of all ages offering a message of hope and help to women struggling with unplanned pregnancy.Watch the web commercial here.
Erica Pelman, Founder and Executive Director of In Shifra’s Arms, wants the Jewish community at large to know how critical the work of ISA is: “Whether because of denial or ignorance, for too long the Jewish community has effectively abandoned vulnerable pregnant women among us. It is a pleasure to come together with people from across the Jewish spectrum to ensure women know the Jewish community to available and willing to help.”
Approximately 100 Jews from across the religious spectrum attended the premier event. To celebrate the occasion, artists from the DC Metro community displayed paintings of Shifra, the midwife from the Book of Exodus who is the organization’s namesake.
This month, in advance of the January 2, 2016 Torah portion of Shemos – where Shifra appears - In Shifra’s Arms begins a viral commercial rollout through social media and partner organizations. Hinda Leah Sharfstein of Bais Chana said, “As an organization that reaches out to support single Jewish mothers, we are delighted to partner with In Shifra's Arms to ensure every Jewish woman knows she can count on the Jewish community in moments of crisis.”
In Shifra’s Arms’ ongoing and past clients also welcome the organization’s move to advertise broadly. “It was hard for me to ask for help,” wrote a client recently. “I’m generally a strong, independent woman. I feared being judged. But I needed real help and I am so glad I found you. We’ve got to spread the word you exist because you certainly are needed.”
“It is no coincidence that the Hebrew word for compassion comes from the Hebrew word for womb,” said Rabbi Diana Gerson of The New York Board of Rabbis. “The Torah mentions our obligation to widows multiple times. Today, we have the same obligation of compassion to single and vulnerable mothers, starting when they are pregnant unexpectedly. We can be proud as a community that In Shifra's Arms is filling the gap."
About In Shifra’s Arms: In Shifra’s Arms is an organization dedicated to helping vulnerable Jewish pregnant women to create a positive future for themselves and their children. It offers both short-term counseling as well longer-term support, including targeted financial assistance and other crucial services.
Through their national Helpline (1-888-360-5872), its professional staff offers services to Jewish women across the United States by providing specialized assistance as well as connecting them with local agencies. There is no other parallel Jewish organization doing this work in the United States.
In Shifra’s Arms
P.O. Box 7212.
Silver Spring, MD 20907
Commercial can also be found: www.tinyurl.com/jewishpregnancy
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