Rosh Chodesh Bet
Since 1977, Efrat has helped over 80,000 women by offering emotional and practical support to help them keep their pregnancy and look after their baby.EFRAT was founded in the 1950’s by Mr. Herschel Feigenbaum, a survivor of the Holocaust. Mr. Feigenbaum understood that children represent our future and in memory of the over one and a half million Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust, he established EFRAT. Dr. Eli Schussheim, formally a senior surgeon, has headed the organization since 1977. Under his leadership, EFRAT has made Mr. Feigenbaum’s dream a reality through its support of Jewish childbirth.Today EFRAT provides critical support for women who feel that they have no alternative but to end their pregnancy due to crippling socio-economic constraints.Its goal is to empower women to make an informed choice about the future of their pregnancy. Access to information, support and practical help, enables a woman to the make the choice to continue her pregnancy and have her baby.Amongst its services, EFRAT offers:
- Personal counseling - to provide emotional support according to each woman’s individual needs.
- Prenatal medical consultation – to provide women with the opportunity to seek a free medical consultation when a second opinion is required about the health of the fetus.
- Postnatal family support – to offer women practical support on the arrival of their new baby and throughout the first two years of the baby’s life.
- Assistance in Exercising Rights – to help women resolve financial, bureaucratic and legal matters to ease their economic situation.EFRAT's team on the ground is made up of trained volunteers who offer support both during pregnancy and after birth. EFRAT has close to 200 volunteers who are specifically trained in crisis counseling for women and who receive supervision from EFRAT's chief social worker. Volunteers are available to help women located in over 225 towns and cities throughout Israel.An example of the impact of EFRAT's work is evident below.On an ordinary morning an EFRAT volunteer visited a woman scheduled to terminate her pregnancy."I can't imagine bringing my child into this world without being able to provide him with a bed to sleep in," the woman tearfully explained to the EFRAT volunteer. The volunteer was stunned. "It is unthinkable," she said, "that a life will be lost for lack of a crib."EFRAT’s work is to support women who are pregnant and considering a termination primarily due to socio-economic reasons. EFRAT’s support extends to care for the new baby and the family as a whole.EFRAT's postnatal support project provides mothers with basic and essential equipment needed to care for a new baby. The reassurance that this help will be there for them with the arrival of their child, can make the difference and help a woman to feel confident about having her baby. EFRAT provides on average 3,200 cribs per year to 3,200 women. This means that approximately 8 cribs per day are given to expectant mothers for their new baby to sleep in.