The Response of Puah Institute to the Press concerning the 12th Annual Conference: The Reason women are not lecturing at the conference
Every year during the week of Parshat Shemot the Puah Institute organizes a conference on the topic of Medicine & Halacha. The conference integrates Torah lectures from important Rabbis and top ranking medical specialists in their area of specialty. The conference is basically geared towards rabbis, rebbetzins, chatan and kallah mentors, mikveh attendants, and professional men and women interested in medicine and halacha.
Aim of the conference
The purpose of the conference is to inform the general public and professionals concerning halachic issues and medical advances which could assist them in their field. Thanks to the Puah conferences throughout the years, new halachic rulings have been instituted to benefit women's health in the religious sector.
In light of these aims, it is of major importance that all rabbis and professionals be able to attend the conference. Those who are sensitive to the needs of the religious sector are aware that many will not attend other medical conferences because of the differing modesty standards, which they consider a serious halachic problem.
Therefore the Rishon LeTzion, HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu ztl, ruled that Puah should allow attendance to men and women with separate seating, and to invite men lecturers. This directive was reinforced by all the major Rabbis from the charedi and national religious sector.
We would like to point out, that contrary to the advertised claims, women sit directly opposite the lecturers, in the same manner as the men, with the podium in the center. Women as well as men are allowed to ask the lecturers questions by loudspeaker. It is important to note that women doctors and other women professionals are often invited to speak at the Puah Institute's other seminars.
We are sorry that instead of appreciating the great advances we have merited to see in women's health in general, and in particular within the religious sector, as a result of our conferences, there are cynical, aggressive elements who try to block us by using the prevailing public ambience. These elements are riding on the back of the Puah Institute in order to advance their personal agenda.