This week on Unorthodox, we’re talking all things Jewish pregnancy, from traditions and superstitions to genetic testing and fertility treatment.
First we hear from Estie Rose, a genetic counselor and outreach coordinator for JScreen, a genetic testing nonprofit based at Emory University, about the importance of screening for Tay-Sachs, the BRCA gene, and other specifically Jewish conditions when planning for pregnancy.
Then Dr. Bat-Sheva Maslow, a reproductive endocrinologist at Extend Fertility, explains halachic infertility, how common it really is, and what experts like them can do to solve/cure/manage fertility challenges.
Next, we dive into the superstitions that arise when you’re expecting Jewishly. To cover what these traditions are and why they have such a strong hold over so many of us, we turn to Rabbi Mychal Springer, adjunct professor at Jewish Theological Seminary and manager of clinical pastoral education at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dara Horn, whose forthcoming book is People Love Dead Jews, and Esther Levy-Chehebar, a Tablet contributor who has written about her family’s Syrian Jewish pregnancy traditions.
Then Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish, faculty and senior pedagogy coach at the Hadar Institute, tells us about some of the biblical mothers whose stories still resonate today.
Finally, we speak to Anita Diamant, the bestselling author of novels like The Red Tent, about her pregnancy guide The New Jewish Baby Book and why we spend so much time puzzling over baby names.
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