Nov 27, 2012
Women Meet for "After Class"
Photos: Chana Lewis

70 young married women met in Crown Heights for a lecture by psychotherapist Rivka Sidorsky titled "After the Kallah Class."

By Devorah Ascher
Photos: Chana Lewis

Kallah classes are a must for every chassidic bride. But how about the follow-up?

A crowd of 70 young married women met in Crown Heights this past Thursday evening for an event titled "After the Kallah Class," discussing common issues and topics in marital life.

Held at the Gutnick residence, the speaker was Rivka Sidorsky, a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in marital intimacy.

Sidorsky discussed the sensitive and crucial topic of intimacy from a psychological, as well as a physiological standpoint.

She started out with basic information from the health aspect and concluded with frequently asked questions in the frum community.

After the lecture, women got to ask questions, discuss, and mingle around the refreshment table.

"The lecture was conducted in such a modest manner," commented one of the attendees. "For the subject content, that was really impressive. There should definitely be more events like this."

It was the first event organized by Jewish women's forum The lecturer was introduced by Mrs. Fraidy Yanover .

"The feedback from the women who attended was superb - and it was a great success," said Bracha Bard-Wigdor, creator of the online community. "I hope that this is just the beginning of many more such events in the future."

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Opinions and Comments
yay brachah
way to go brachah!!
(11/27/2012 2:15:54 PM)
(11/27/2012 2:16:42 PM)
if us ch women could join without needing to going thru our yichus and wait a month that would be appreciated..
(11/27/2012 2:27:46 PM)
hey brachalina!
great stuff ur organizing - we're so proud of you! love your (sort of) neighbors:)
(11/27/2012 2:28:17 PM)
how come i didnt know abt this?
(11/27/2012 2:29:09 PM)
tread carefully
Careful women before running to sign up to this forum.
Of course its a wonderful place that women can turn to for support, kol hakaod.
But Make sure u know that just by reading the forum, women are suddenly comparing their intimate lives with hundreds of anonymous women from all spectrums of Judaism.
(11/27/2012 2:55:36 PM)
thank you Bracha Bard-Wigdor!
A great event is not surprising, considering how amazing the Balaboostas forum is for married women. Keep up the great work! Much hatzlacha.
(11/27/2012 3:03:48 PM)
can we get a recording of the evening?
(11/27/2012 3:10:21 PM)
the talk was so informative I can't thank you enough for providing me/us this information and making this event, thank you!!!
(11/27/2012 3:12:36 PM)
10 and bracha are amazing!
Couldn't b there but can't wait til the next one!
(11/27/2012 3:21:14 PM)
not necessarily kosher
not everything posted is halachically verified, quite the contrary!
The evening was probably more appropriate, but the online forum/website is not moderated by any proper authority, anyone posts what they feel, and if someone tries to say anything more kosher, it is not allowed on
(11/27/2012 3:35:48 PM)
Thank you Bracha for doing what no one else is in CH!!

to commenter who is still waiting to be accepted into balaboostas, make sure you fill out the form in its entirety. we dont care about yichus, only to make sure that real women are admitted into the site!
(11/27/2012 3:48:29 PM)
go balaboostas and bracha
Sruli from toronto
(11/27/2012 3:57:57 PM)
are there any
are there any rabbanic endorsements for this site?
(11/27/2012 4:14:46 PM)
against halacha
many of my friends were kicked off that site after sticking up for halacha. maybe the administartor felt threatened?
(11/27/2012 4:35:08 PM)
An old chevrusa from MRC
Way to go Rivkah!!!
(11/27/2012 7:12:06 PM)
a rabbi is needed
a proper rabbi is needed to supervise some of the discussions in the group... halachically questionable (most definatly hashkafically questionable!!!)
(11/27/2012 7:20:12 PM)
workshop was great but...
the workshop was informative and presented in a tzniyus'dike and aidel fashion. however, I would not encourage women to join I personally know several women who presented to others a more ruchniyus'dike side to issues being discussed, and since it was too "right winged", they were knocked off the forum. while a forum might be an outlet for some, a woman who wants to do things with a lichatchila approach should think twice before signing up.
(11/27/2012 7:33:39 PM)
although a forum is needed by many, I wish that ALL of the advice and opinions were backed by lubavitcher RABONIM and not just Rabbi Shea Hecht. Like this, women can know what is really acceptable and what is a heter
(11/27/2012 7:36:08 PM)
to #19
It isn't a website only for lubavitchers so why does it need a Lubavitch Rav?

Also, I haven't heard of anyone getting kicked off the site for being too frum

Bracha rocks and so does!!
(11/27/2012 8:07:33 PM)
I can't speak for the intimacy lecture but...
I can speak for balaboostas. I have been on balaboostas pretty much since it started.
There is nothing to do with yichus in regards to who can and can't join. Additionally, there is no one that I know of who got kicked off due to "sticking up" for halacha and lastly, it clearly states all over balaboostas that no one should take any advice as psak or therapeutic advice. To those of you being nasty, please verify the sources for your lies. There are real people behind this site and who are on it including myself and what you are saying is loshon harah/motzei shem if you're SO into halacha, you might want to think about that...
(11/27/2012 8:07:39 PM)
I am someone who is considered right wing. I have stuck up for halacha and hashkafa on and was never kicked off/ asked to leave.... you do need to brace yourself for those who lean to the opposite side and if you compare your life to others the site is not for you but there is a lot of positive there too and definitely a nice feel of community. If you want a site for only chassidishe women, start it but this site is not bad as some of the commenters seem to make it out to be.
(11/27/2012 8:11:00 PM)
great site
Balaboostas is an informative forum for people to nicely share their advice and experience. It does not present itself as the be it and and all of halacha - in fact the 'editor" of the site always refers people to rabanim for halachic questions. That being said, sometimes people that voice their opinions in not-nice matters get asked to leave for hurting peoples feelings.
(11/27/2012 8:19:28 PM)
What if diff rabbis opinions differ regarding halacha and heter? What if one rav says no heter is needed? Should each ask her own rav? Isn't this site a great place for people to discuss what they have learned and share, esp if someone is hesitant to call a rav? Sounds like the event was great and informative.
(11/27/2012 8:24:26 PM)
Rochie Korolitsky?
did she speak? MC?
(11/27/2012 8:27:58 PM)
Love my balaboostas friends !!
When you sit with your friends and discuss different topics do you call a rav to sit with you too ?? So take it as that , it's a group of friends discussing different topics but all are sitting on different couches around the world ...
(11/27/2012 8:40:10 PM)
Hope to see many more like this.
Wow awesome event. So important.
(11/27/2012 8:45:05 PM)
Benefits yes- but a healthy system?
No doubt a site like this has numerous benefits, and the creator is well intentioned, however I think there is a bit of an unhealthy dynamic in terms of having a non-professional take so much control and responsibility over the lives of others (eg: having all sorts of vulnerable people reveal their identities in private correspondence etc)- it is worrying and unhealthy even if mostly well meaning. A service of this magnitude really needs a transparent system of thoroughly trained and experienced professionals, rather than being in the hands of one individual.
Additionally, just wondering if all the women who have applied have given consent to have their names and in some cases ages, published for public comment on the forum to verify identities?
(11/27/2012 9:24:34 PM)
Such a good analogy! And I [3 my balaboostas friends too!

The site has been amazing for me. I live in a town without many Jews and even fewer frum ones. Balaboostas has given me people to talk to and friends that are amazing. Even if I dont see eye to eye with everyone always I am never mad or angry at differing opinions. This forum is moderated beautifully and if anyone says anything hurtful it is deleted immediately! It is a much needed site and I am truly thankful for it!
(11/27/2012 9:27:30 PM)
amazing site!
There is always going to be those few people who speak negatively about something because they labeled themselves "frumer" than everyone else. is such a beautiful way of woman connecting to each other . If someone has a question that is beyond our halachic grasp, of course we would tell them to speak to higher authority.. its not a random forum like Women give their meaning, friendly and comforting input so please keep the Motzei Shem Rah to yourself.
(11/27/2012 9:44:13 PM)
#28 agree completely
There is something very dangerous when people think they are going someplace for support and guidance and no one is trained to provide that. If you want to share recipes and discuss how to keep your toddler entertained, great! But when it comes to serious issues of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, these women are way too vulnerable and naive and should NOT be allowed to get their advice from this site. They should be immediately referred to a professional. Saying that it is stated does not help. They do not need opinions and advice from well intentioned young women...they need help and without it, chas v'shalom could end up in a very bad place...
(11/28/2012 1:04:27 AM)
Please stop bashing Balaboostas
To all those who THINK they know how the site works unless you are on there you don't know. Bracha verifies EACH WOMAN that applies to the website to make they are a real jewish woman which ales a lot of time and effort.
She also provides as much knowledge that we can on a topic and will site sources as needed. No one on the site can give 100% medical or halachic advice in threads advice can be given based on personal experience but it is ALWAYS advised to ask a rav/ doctor
Balaboostas is a great way to make friends from different walks of life that you may not meet otherwise. People share their views and differences and even though people ,ay not a,ways agree at the end of the day they can put their differences aside and still be friends.
It provides an outlet where people might not be comfortable talking about certain topics in real life and can provide help to their everyday lives
(11/28/2012 1:24:15 AM)
Negative posters have never been on Balaboostas
...because if they have, they would know that Balaboostas has NOTHING to do with your religious affiliation! If you are a married Jewish woman then that is enough. So please stop with the 'yichus' talk. Bracha goes through every application and doesn't accept someone until she knows for a fact that it's a Jewish married woman.
No one ever tells people what is ok and no ok to do. People will say whether they got a heter for certain things but will always mention that you have to ask your own rav. If it wasn't clarified that the moderators will edit it.
This website is also A LOT more than just people's intimate lives, women share recipes, stories about their children, parenting questions, vacation ideas, arts and crafts, interesting articles etc.
So please get off your high horse and stop talking negatively of something you know nothing about!
(11/28/2012 2:13:26 AM)
Mashpia & Mekabel
All you need is some Mashpia & Mekabel

Don't settle. Beyond just acceptable - ideal intimacy
(11/28/2012 3:07:58 AM)
no different to straight Halacha refresher classes
I have attended many refresher classes by recognised established Lubavitcher kalla teachers WITH NO RAV SUPERVISING HER! Afterwards I have ALWAYS been left with some confusion and sheilas, gone to a rav and been told 'she told you something wrong. ' Of course, I could have misunderstood her. But the bottom line is, after things like this, if you are in doubt, go to your own rav with your new piece of information that you want to use, no matter where it comes from, be it Rebbetzin....or anywhere else.
(11/28/2012 4:50:22 AM)
motzi shem ra
i read all of the comments and i see that there are women who really like the website and feel that they are being helped by it and feel that they are part of the community.

as much as those women are being helped, i don't think that it's appropriate to tell those who talk about some "red flags" that they should stop talking motzi shem ra, and to "get off their high horse".

it says: "klal yisroel areivin zeh lozeh". all jews are responsible for one another, and if one sees another in danger, they should try to help them. so even if the website does make some women comfortable, it is not the ideal place for a LUBAVITCHER woman to go to. i know that it's not specifically geared for lubavitch women, but this article showed up on a LUBAVITCHER website, which introduces this website to many of OUR women. even though recipes, chinuch, vacation ideas, etc. are shared together, there are MANY posts that are not appropriate for sharing.

EVERYONE knows that we don't discuss intimate subjects with others, even anonymously. one needs to go to a rav/mashpia/professional/therapist, etc for guidance. posting anonymously can be so harmful to one.

mashal: a man emails a heart doctor and tells him all of the heart pain that he has to the best of his ability, and he wants the doctor to prescribe medication, or to tell him if he's having a heart attack, etc. when the doctor asks him for his name and medical background, he answers that he prefers to remain anonymous. what normal person would behave that way, and which normal doctor would actually diagnose? (a normal doctor would say that if ANYTHING is an issue, go straight to a doctor face to face and check yourself out. the nimshal is obvious. why would someone who really cares about their married life want to share details with others, even anonymously? and if they really cared, why are they not going to a real professional? why do they need to hear from a moderator, or read the fine print, that in their situation, they should go to a rav/professional,etc.

on that being said, I think that it's very appropriate for commentors (such as #28) to write their comments, so it can inform others who are not on the website to think twice if such a forum is for them to join or not.

The comments are only meant to show others that there are 2 sides to every story. So even if you are happy with it and have not exprienced or heard of any of the negative effects, you should now be aware of it. Perhaps all of these comments would make Bracha realize what the public is talking about, and how it can be changed to provide appropriate standards for ALL women.
(11/28/2012 9:04:49 AM)
support team and innumerable mitzvos
Balaboostas is a support team. We have people on there who we daven for. The is a tehillim list. Do you even know how many kapitals of tehillim were said and how many loves have been helped. There was a mother who asked us to please say tehillim for her newborn who was in nicu and two days later he was home. Another woman needed help finding a mohel for a cousins baby who would otherwise have been circumcised by a regular Dr instead of a mohel, and guess what? The baby got a proper bris. This website is full of mitzvas! These are just a couple of examples of how wonderful this site is!
(11/28/2012 9:06:48 AM)
Balaboostas is Awesome!
A lot of the comment on here about Balaboostas are making me sick. Let me clarify a few things for you:
1) When you comment anonymously, the moderator has NO way to see who you are, it is completely private.
2) When you sign up, you have to give a lot of personal info to ensure that there are no fakers or men on the website, which makes it more PRIVATE, not less.
3) The ONLY people that get kicked off the forum are the ones that are being outright disrespectful or aren't following the rules.
There is more, but let me just say that the woman who runs the website is completely QUALIFIED. If you are unhappy with the website, fine, don't join. But don't badmouth just to be mean, especially when what you're writing ISN"T TRUE!
(11/28/2012 9:58:02 AM)
Great website, nice and tznius. Bracha always makes sure to modify the comments to make sure they are not inappropriate.
(11/28/2012 10:35:21 AM)
"Some of the material in this section may not be suitable for all viewers. Please continue only if you are comfortable viewing such material. This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the P'sak of any Rabbinical authority. It also does not give Heterim or P'sak Torah of any kind. Always consult your local Halachic authority."

This is clearly stated every time someone writes/posts or to even look at the thread. For all you misinformed people, don't bash something if you don't have your facts straight. Balsboostas is an amazing, safe, supportive, and loving community for women of all kinds. GO BRACHA!!!!!
(11/28/2012 11:44:18 AM)
GO, Rivka!!
Rivka, We are so proud of you!
Missing you at Mayanot, Dina H.
(11/28/2012 12:41:26 PM)
to # 28
I am not here to point out if the website is good or not that is for each one to decide on their own but i will point out some facts

1) When you comment anonymously, the moderator has A way to see who you are, it is completely NOT private. this is the case with any website, it WAS private when it was on Facebbok

2) When you sign up, you have to give a lot of personal info to ensure that there are no fakers or men on the website, - you can do this with half the questions, no need to know how frum or how many times a day you say chitas there are plenty of personal questions that have nothing to do with being a man or a women

3 ) The ONLY people that get kicked off the forum are the ones that are being outright disrespectful or aren't following the rules. - true but who decides what the rules are? not every time that someone does not agree with B is it disrespectful.

There is more, but let me just say that the woman who runs the website is completely QUALIFIED.?? (matter of opinion) If you are unhappy with the website, fine, don't join.

Everything i have written for has backup,

(11/28/2012 7:10:11 PM)
Do you really think we are that dumb?
Do you really think that a woman is so susceptible to being influenced by advice? Do you really believe that we are so dumb that we can't tell bad advice from good? Come on people, if you can't handle it stay away, but the rest of us can deal with talking with no danger.

For those who think that discussing intimacy is not allowed- you should realize how dangerous that approach is. Do you not want your children to tell you if they are abused in some way? Do you not want someone to trust you if they need sensitive advice?
(11/28/2012 7:20:07 PM)
Truth about the forum
I've seen the forum and see what goes on and I just want to say that all these haters haven't been on the forum because if you were on it you would see that no one gets kicks off because someone doesn't like them. And if I don't want to read something then I won't read it!! I can't stand how people are saying its a bad place and has horrible things on it. You don't even know what there!!! And for all of you who think that the admin and moderators know who is writing under anonymous should ask any tech guy if it really is visible and you will find out that it's not.
(11/28/2012 9:04:52 PM)
I am not a member of the site and was not at this session. I was a very happily married women until Hashem took my husband back. But I am extremely bothered by the total lack of tznius amongst our young married women whose husbands seem to enjoy walking down the street with their wives dressed so immodest. do we have to copy the goyim all the way? It scares me to think that this lack of tznius could be the cause of some of the tragic deaths we've recently suffered of wonderful young people. You don't need a website to know that it is 1000% WRONG AL PI HALACHA (not Lubavitch Halacha) for women to walk around the way the crown heights women do. They would be better off cutting off ten inches from their wigs (that go down to their backsides) and cover their legs, arms and chest with it. I hope this is not too controversial for you to print.
(11/28/2012 10:06:39 PM)
(11/28/2012 11:30:49 PM)
This is great
Idiot. It is important to share intimate details. Too many of normal marital struggles become exacerbated by their being hidden. Women need a place to acquire information. It is also so lovely for others to know they aren't alone. Congrats to all the collaborators and organizers. I am so happy.
(11/29/2012 1:02:57 AM)
Freedom of speech y'all
I've been reading the above comments with interest. I've noticed that all comments presenting sincere opinions which indicate that the website has its possible drawbacks are immediately responded to from a supporter of the website in a manner which is decidedly aggressive and sounds more like a personal tirade. Citing an opinion that differs from yours does not make someone a 'motzei shem rah'. When you attack people who present what they consider to be 'red flags' to the website, instead of responding in a calm and polite manner, you are behaving in an overly defensive way which implies that you yourself feel uncomfortable about something.
(11/29/2012 1:07:12 AM)
To those of you who are putting down Balaboostas
You've obviously never been on the site. Bracha moderates the site beautifully and professionally. She doesn't claim to be a halachic or medical authority. Its a place for frum women to get together and chat and share ideas and discussions. There may be some women who say negative things and put down others but those things can just as well happen in real life when women get together and talk, and Bracha does a great job of moderating the discussions. It is one of the most positive, uplifting, refreshing forums out there for frum women. She also verifies that every applicant is actually a frum women to prevent trolls from entering the website which is a big problem in other forums. I will absolutely defend Balaboostas because it is truly amazing.
(11/29/2012 10:06:54 PM)
to 47
with all due respect... not much unfortunately.. but all that i do have. you are the idiot here. do u REALIZE what you are saying?"it is important to SHARE INTIMATE details"
First of all, if you are sharing it, it means that it never was intimate. and definately once you share your private life with others, it is stil intimate.
i dont think that people realize that sharing things that are meant to be private, sacred, beutuiful, takes the sacredness, beauty, and privacy out of intimacy...
and if you feel that you honestly need help, i dont fel that this is a good outlet to get that help from. talk to someone that can actually help you.. not a bunch of newly married girls who push their lack of boundries on others.
(11/30/2012 12:04:48 AM)
If you don't like it, don't go on!

And by the way, abuse, depression - you name it - are REAL issues that are affecting REAL marriages. You can ignore them and say they are figments of the imagination or whatever but it doesn't change the facts. I think it is great that Jewish women can come together and discuss these very important issues. If you do not approve, do not join!
(12/2/2012 11:26:46 AM)
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