The JTA reports that Modern Orthodoxy continues its much-needed push toward modernity with the establishment of a new program designed to teach women to become counselors for couples who are getting married. These kallah (bridal) teachers will speak to both men and women and will be recruited by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, and co-sponsors of the program are Drisha and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.
“In addition to learning the relevant marriage laws,” the article informs, “participants in the four-day pilot course must be comfortable with the idea of talking about sexual intimacy to groups of both men and women.”
This is a great first step. But I can’t help but think that maybe it’s too little, too late. While it’s great for concerned, engaged couples to learn about these laws, shouldn’t there be classes for the â€œmikvah-curiousâ€? Or a discussion of the anecdotally large number of on-the-books Orthodoxish singles in their 20s or 30s who are not â€œwaiting for marriageâ€ but may want to engage in some of the rituals? Maybe someday, Orthodoxy will establish a real sexual education curriculum, especially in high schools, so that students could know what’s going on with their bodies when the actual changes are occurring.