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SHIFRA (In Shifra’s Arms) is a unique Jewish support network nurturing women through unplanned pregnancy and empowering them to flourish as women and mothers.  We are a nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 

Our supporters, board, volunteers, and staff reflect a diverse group of Jews. Together, we nurture women experiencing unplanned pregnancy crises.

Who SHIFRA Helps

We help all pregnant Jewish women in crises no matter if they are single or married, religious or not. We help women across the United States and anywhere abroad.

Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 American Jewish women have unintended pregnancies per year. Approximately one third of those unintended pregnancies are discontinued due to constraints financially, socially, or for relationship reasons.

Those women who continue unplanned pregnancies may struggle because they lack sufficient emotional, social, and financial resources. SHIFRA can help.

SHIFRA's Mission

Our mission is to nurture women through unplanned pregnancy crises and empower them as mothers and as women.


SHIFRA in Hebrew means “to beautify”.

Our organization is named for Shifra, the midwife mentioned in the book of Exodus. She is known for her exceptional courage defying Pharoah. She refused to follow Pharoah’s order to kill the Israelite boys and protected their mothers from harm.

To learn more about our connection to SHIFRA,
check out this article.

How SHIFRA can help

Our approach to helping mothers:

Women can count on SHIFRA to treat them with respect and dignity. If you need help, call or text us today and set up an appointment to speak to one of our professional counselors.

Erica Pelman

Founder And

Executive Director

Over 15 years ago, I got a call from one of my closest friends. She was calling to let me know she was single, pregnant unexpectedly and felt she had no real choice but ending the pregnancy. We grieved and cried together. Then our lives moved on.

Several years later I found myself in the opposite position: Married, trying and failing to become pregnant- even though I was not yet 30.

One day it hit me: If she had wanted to continue her pregnancy- who would have been able to help her from the Jewish community?

I realized that despite the American-Jewish community’s incredible network and resources, there were no resources set aside to help vulnerable pregnant women through crisis. Someone had to do something about this terrible blind spot.

Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant for the first time. My journey into becoming a mother has been intertwined forever with
founding SHIFRA (In Shifra’s Arms). Our small team incorporated SHIFRA in August 2009. From our humble beginnings (we helped 2 women the first two years), we now make SHIFRA services available to Jewish women anywhere in the US and outside of Israel.

It’s a privilege to work with an incredible team every single day. We’re not just an agency- we treat every client like a treasured family member. With our team on her side- she never has to feel alone.

Meet the Team

What brings us together is our mission to serve and the belief that women struggling with unplanned pregnancies should have support available to help them overcome their challenges and create a flourishing future for themselves and their children.

A dedicated team of professionals supports SHIFRA day-to-day functions, and the Board manages the organization’s long-term goals. If you are interested in contributing your professional skills or experience to support our mission, please Contact Us.

Our Board Members

Debbie Garfinkel
Yael Ishakis
Miriam Friedman
Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Mikhael Smits  
Sarah Wapner

Our Counselors