Founder and Director of Keren Gefen and the Hadassah Rimon Mind-Body Fertility Center
Dr. Karen Friedman, psychologist, is the founding director of Keren Gefen, which facilitates Mind/Body Fertility projects in Israel. She is most proud of the Gefen Center, a beautiful space in the German Colony in Jerusalem, where fertility challenged women are nurtured and supported. The center serves as a teaching resource to share its unique vision and innovative programs with Jewish communities throughout the world.
Dr. Friedman is a CBT therapist, who has a Doctorate from Harvard University and completed Clinical Psychology training at Hadassah. “At Harvard, my Doctoral advisor, Professor Lawrence Kohlberg, taught me to challenge my thoughts and understand the thoughts of others. Professor Carol Gilligan taught me that woman have a ‘different voice’. I have found that voice. It is a maternal voice, and my goal is to further the vision of Dr. Ali Domar to allow each woman to fulfill her fertility potential.
She made Aliyah from Los Angeles and resides in Jerusalem with her husband, Prof. Yedidia Stern and their eight children.
Kaden Harari directs the Yoga Fertility Program and has been instrumental in developing many innovative programs in the Gefen Organization.
She has been teaching yoga since 2012 in Jerusalem, including training the next generation of Fertility Yoga specialists in the Gefen Organization Program.
Her teaching style includes movement and breathing work as well as relaxation techniques to help women prepare themselves for the treatments ahead. She encourages the women to take the tools they learn with them into their lives as a means of reducing stress and quieting the mind. Kady and her husband made Aliya and are currently living in Nahlaot, Jerusalem.
Dr. Zvia Birman (emeritus)
Clinical Social Worker
Dr. Birman is a clinical social worker specializing in the area of childbearing (infertility, adoption, and surrogacy) who has been treating women, couples and groups for over 20 years. Dr. Birman served as head of the social work department in the Pediatrics, Women and Maternity wards at the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with the emotional and practical aspects of men who are undergoing fertility treatments. She co-authored, To Bear a Child (Aryeh Ner Publishers, Tel Aviv), with psychiatrist, Professor Eliezer Witztum.
Dr. Rhonda Adessky
Rhonda Adessky received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Following a predoctoral internship at Yale University School of Medicine and a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, she served as a member of the faculty and Associate Director of the training clinic at Yale Psychological Services. Since making aliyah in 2000, Dr. Adessky has directed the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training program that she co-founded at Hadassah University Hospital, and has conducted ongoing research in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder at Hadassah. She is also clinical director of the Training Center for Mind-Body Skills, focusing on interventions for stress reduction and well-being. She has taught at Neve Yerushalayim in various capacit ies for the last ten years. She is currently teaching in the M.A. program in clinical psychology at Hebrew University.
MSW Social Worker
Michal Lipschitz, MSW social worker, personal, couple and family therapist and health expert worked at Maccabi Health Services in the women's health centers, guiding students in the process of training them for social work. She has over 20 years of experience in treating women and couples facing fertility challenges, facilitates Mind-Body and CBT groups for women in various stages of their fertility journey.
Clinical Social Worker M.S.W.
Leah Mazeh has a Master's Degree in Clinical Social Work (M.S.W). She is a graduate of the CBT course for treating postpartum depression, as well as a course for treating fertility challenges and at risk pregnancies. In addition she has completed the training program to guide social work students. Leah specializes in women's mental health, in particular the challenges of fertility, pregnancy and postpartum depression. She treats women, couples and parents at her private clinic in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. As part of the Geffen Foundation, she treats women with fertility challenges and women suffering from postpartum depression. In addition, Leah leads groups of postpartum mothers on behalf of the Jerusalem Municipality. Leah has over a decade of experience in mental health care. She worked at the Mental Health Station of Herzog Medical Center for 5 years. The role included therapy for children, parental guidance, leading group therapy sessions and mentoring students of social work.
Heidi Weissman, psychologist, received her PhD. in Clinical Health Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in New York. She is a trained CBT therapist and supervisor, accredited by ITA and the EABCT. She is an administrator in the CBT training program in the Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Karem, where she supervises and trains students, as well as teaches in the course. Over the past ten years, she has taught CBT in multiple training programs in Jerusalem. In addition, she is involved in PTSD research through Bar Ilan University. She is particularly interested in Women's Health, including the challenges of fertility, as well as perinatal and postpartum depression.
Dr. Jordana Hyman
Gefen Medical Advisor
Dr Jordana Hyman is a graduate of Monash University Medical School in Melbourne, Australia and completed her OB-GYN residency at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. Dr Hyman went on to fulfil a two-year fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Mc Gill University, Canada in 2013. She has been working intensely in the field of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for over ten years and is currently a senior staff specialist in Shaare Zedek's IVF unit, as well as in fertility clinics in the kuppot cholim. Dr Hyman is active in research and teaching and also lectures widely. She is the medical director of Nishmat-Gefen Fertility Advisors course and has been a wonderful resource to Gefen staff members, providing professional assistance and advice. Dr Hyman is passionate about helping women and couples to become parents, seeing this work as a true calling, and a great privilege. She is highly regarded for her professionalism, her compassion, and her warm bedside manner.
Professor Meni Koslowsky
Director of Research
Professor Meni Koslowsky received his Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University and is currently a professor in the Psychology Department of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, where he formerly served as chairman of the department (2010-2014). His main research areas include personnel selection (interviewing techniques, letters of recommendation, CV evaluation) organizational behavior, the stress-strain relationship, methods of persuasion and their effectiveness, evaluation of programs, and research methodology. Professor Koslowsky has written over 100 articles, authored or edited five books, and has presented at more than 90 professional conferences over the years. He is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists and has been a visiting Professor at several universities in the United States.
Rabbi Yisrael Cohn
Director of Gefen-Adva Project
Rabbi Yisrael Cohn is the Director of Gefen-Adva Project for social programs and community support for fertility challenged couples. He has recently launched the Mens support group in Keren Gefen. Yisrael studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh and Yeshivat Hamivtar with Smicha from Rabbi Brovender, Rabbi Riskin and Rabbi Zalman Nechemya Goldberg. He has a Masters in Clinical Sociology from the University of North Texas. He has been working with young men, in preparation for marriage for the last 20 years.
Miri Yakoby holds a degree in social work. She works as a family therapist at the Center for Parents and Children "Ma'aleh Adumim” and guides social work students. Miri previously worked in family therapy and currently works in the field of domestic violence. She is a trained Mind-Body workshop leader in various areas, including infertility.
Torat Hamishpacha Consultant
Sara Sweibel, a consultant for Torat Hamishpacha, accompanies the Haredi women's Mind/Body groups, with love and sensitivity. Sara edited and translated the Jewish law book, Seder Mitzvoth HaNashim, an halachic and ethical book geared towards Ashkenazi women and written by Benjamin Selnick, the author of Masset Binyamin, in Yiddish in 1576. Additionally she teaches Torah courses to women and is the mother of eight children.
Jill Levenfeld was certified in 2014 as a Yoga instructor through the School of Integrative Yoga, founded and led by Tzippy Negev, the current director of the Israeli Yoga Association. She began the Yoga Journaling course in the Yoga for Fertility program at Keren Gefen. Jill developed the idea of Yoga Journaling during her teacher training, and created a series of practices under Tzippy's supervision. Jill facilitates an experience, while on the yoga mat, to reveal the unwritten stories hidden in our bodies through the integrative practice of yoga and journaling. Jill has had extensive experience in many different organizations as a facilitator over the last 15 years using the tool of personal stories to strengthen self-identity.
Program Coordinator Rimon Center Hadassah IVF
Sigalit is a Graduate of the Reidman Institute, specializing in Physical Psychotherapy. She is the coordinator of activities at the Rimon Center, Hadassah Hospital, Mount Scopus where she leads the fertility yoga course. Sigalit’s guidance and coaching style is characterized as gentle and attentive, striving to create a connection between Body and Soul, while also taking into account the pressures and tensions of daily life.
Fertility Partner Program Director
Libby grew up in New York City, where she received her MSW from Columbia University. After moving to Israel in 1977, she supervised social work students at Hebrew University, and was a therapist in community mental health and private practice.
In 2003 Libby founded “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Israel”, an organization which connects adult mentors with children growing up in single-parent homes. Libby directed the organization for 8 years, and it continues to flourish.
Dr. Johanna Czamanski-Cohen
Johanna Czamanski-Cohen, PhD, ATR LPC (AZ) has over 10 years of clinical experience working in adult psychiatry and with women coping with chronic illness and infertility. Her PhD studies in Social Work and Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University included a clinical trial of cognitive behavioral interventions to reduce stress in women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment. Dr. Czamanski-Cohen is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the NCI R25T Cancer Prevention and Control training program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. She is conducting research on risk factors for depression and the development of interventions to reduce depression in women coping with breast cancer under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Weihs.
Rabbanit Sharona Margolin Halickman
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds. Sharona is a graduate of Matan’s Eshkolot Tanach program and she is currently a student at Hilkheta, Matan’s Halacha fellowship. Sharona is the author of Parsha Points: Torah from the Land of Israel and Parsha Points: More Torah from the Land of Israel. She writes a weekly blog for the Times of Israel.
Tamar completed her BA in psychology with highest honors and on the Dean’s list. She holds a diploma in translation from Tel Aviv University. She has worked for many years in childhood education. Tamar is the Administrative Director of Keren Gefen and the Graphic Designer.
Be a Part of our Team
As our services grow we are continuously seeking new team members. If you are a therapist or yoga instructor looking to make a difference please get in touch.