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Mesaser Nissu'in Project
Rabbinical Council of America to Implement Pre-marital Training Curriculum to Be Mandated as a Major Initiative for the Rabbinate
News Headlines
May 10, 2000 -- Rabbi Kenneth Hain, President of the Rabbinical Council of America announces a new Mesaser Nissu'in Project, pre-marital training in order to help prepare prospective brides and grooms for the difficult responsibilities of marriage. Rabbi Hain commented, "While prior to marriage our young couples are privileged to learn Taharat HaMishpacha - Laws of Family Purity - little else is taught to prepare the couple for the many challenges of daily life together. The couple needs to learn marital skills long before the marriage takes place, only then will they be prepared to cope successfully with the inevitable challenges of marriage. Half the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, and we wish to do our utmost to ensure that our couples are not part of that statistic."

The goal of this project is to enable couples to become a unit, hallakhically and emotionally. A series of workshops will be instituted which will integrate the principles of Jewish law and interpersonal, psychological skills necessary to build a successful marriage. Topics such as effective communication, conflict resolution, rearing children, balancing careers, financial issues, in-law and extended family relationships and living a Jewish life will be discussed.

This pre-marital program, lasting for 4-6 weeks, will be directed at post high school single men and women as well as engaged couples. Follow up sessions will be conducted for married couples six and twelve months after their wedding.

Rabbi Hershell Billet, RCA First Vice President, stated that a formal curriculum is being outlined and formulated in conjunction with the NEFESH organization, represented by professionals such as Dr. Norman Goldwasser, Dr. Neal Goldberg, Dr. David Pelcovitz, Ms. Rachel Pill and others. "We are indeed fortunate to have the NEFESH organization help us coordinate this program, one which will be mandated by the RCA and will become a prerequisite for rabbis' officiating at marriage ceremonies."

The Rabbinical Council of America is the world's largest body of Orthodox Rabbis serving communities throughout the world with its headquarters in New York and Jerusalem.

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