Nearly thirteen years ago, I began dreaming of creating a Jewish organization in the U.S. for unplanned pregnancy crises. (Read about the inspiration for In Shifra’s Arms.)
Our journey since has been unique. In the last three years alone, we’ve worked with more than 75 Jewish women in 16 states.
Women with unplanned or crisis pregnancies are not a target group for any other Jewish social service agencies. Our tailored services are different from what anyone else offers. We do collaborate with other agencies whenever possible, and we are a member of the Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies.
In a world full of conflict, In Shifra’s Arms brings together pro-choice people and pro-life people who agree that what we offer is necessary. We come together because we know that, regardless matter how you feel or what you think about abortion, our services are crucial.
How Can We Pull Together People Who Fundamentally Disagree?
Because we know our organizational boundaries. Because we like and trust each other. And because we all really, really care about the women who call, no matter what.
Most essential is that we are transparent about what we do and don’t do.
We do not present ourselves as a medical organization, because we aren’t. We encourage clients to ask doctors or nurses any medical questions they have. We encourage clients to ask their own rabbi if they have questions about abortion and Jewish law. It is simply not our work to tell people what to think about abortion or details about the procedure.
A Unique Approach to Crisis Pregnancy Counseling
Our counseling services are different from what a woman would get at a reproductive health organization that provides abortions. The counseling is different from that of a Christian crisis pregnancy center (CPC). That’s because at either of those places the counselor is engaged a short-term conversation helping a woman assess her options, and the pros and cons.
Our professional counselors also help women examine their options, but they do it in a different context. Whatever a woman decides, the same counselor will be there for her afterwards, if the she wishes. This means the same counselor will provide sensitive follow-up after miscarriage or abortion. And it also means that the same counselor is available to help women to navigate and overcome all the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy, one day at time.
We can work with our clients through the whole pregnancy and the entire year after birth. We then offer a lifetime of parenting classes. We also offer targeted grants, physical items and a whole lot more, customized to each client’s most pressing needs.