Tahareinu’s mission is to offer the latest information in all areas of Tahara, fertility and genetics; to achieve that, founder Rabbi Melber and his team take all measures to remain at the forefront of the field, researching, guiding, and assisting.
The work of Rabbi Yitzchok Melber, founder of Tahareinu, is a study in contrasts.
Calm – yet intense. Humble – yet expert. Brilliant – yet simplified. Often anonymous – yet so personal.
Tahareinu’s mission is to offer the latest information in all areas of Tahara, fertility & genetics; to achieve that Rabbi Melber and the team take all measures to remain at the forefront of the field, researching, guiding, and assisting.
Here, we get an up-close view of his rigorous daily schedule and phenomenal achievements.
Q: What made you choose the field of women’s health and fertility?
A: While learning towards Semicha in Eretz Yisroel under the noted Gaon Harav Meir Brandsdorfer ZT”L I delved into the intricacies of Tahara and women’s health from the Halachic angle, and quickly realized the tremendous need for medical acumen in this area. Because proficiency is so heavily based on both medical and Halachic expertise, I resolved to focus on these topics and make available the latest knowledge from the medical world to every yiddishe family.
Furthermore, as a young couple we faced our own struggles, and experienced the confusion and helplessness crystalizing the need for knowledge and resources within the Yiddishe world.
I knew firsthand the difficulties of the dual language and cultural barriers that couples from abroad face in Israel and decided to arm myself with the ability to help others with similar challenges.
And that’s how our hotline was born.
Word spread quickly and the hotline increased in volume and quality. Although our initial mission focused on the English-speaking community in Israel, community leaders from around the world began reaching out for assistance within their communities.
Q: What is the main objective of Tahareinu, and how has the organization grown?
A: B’syata D’shmaya we have seen tremendous success in all three areas of our focus: Research, education, and direct assistance to couples.
On the research end, I participate in dozens of medical conferences a year, in-person and virtually. While online conferences have proliferated, the unique value of in-person conferences is the connections I forge with doctors and leaders in every specialty. Each conference widens our scope and gives us the absolute latest information which we process and pass on to the couples, the Rabbonim, and the doctors we collaborate with.
Our education arm has also grown tremendously with in-depth professional training course that has certified over 500 Rabbanim, Kallah teachers, nurses, and other professionals to date. We also have a monthly newsletter with close to 14000 subscribers, garnering incredible feedback from laypeople as well as medical professionals. This is my personal passion, and I wish I had more time to dedicate to educating the public, as I’ve seen the impact it creates.
Our direct assistance to couples has, to date, influenced hundreds of thousands of families, Baruch Hashem. Our hotline, which is our frontline help center, is staffed by 58 expert advisors and receives over 4,000 calls per month.
In addition, we meet individually with hundreds of couples both in-person and virtually for consultations on fertility and other issues.
Beginning at 4:30 a.m., when I meet with American couples, followed by Israeli couples throughout the morning and European couples in the afternoon, we have been Zoche to assist in the birth of hundreds of healthy babies.
Q: What do you consider your main achievement of the last year?
A: My personal focus has evolved over the years; today, I primarily focus on fertility, pregnancy loss, and genetics. And although we’ve retained our original name, truthfully, Tahareinu has become an empire of cutting-edge information in all aspects of building families.
Q: On a practical level, how do you manage to take on so many calls and cases personally? And what is your benchmark for when you refer the caller to the hotline?
A: Our hotline is indeed a tremendous resource, and our advisors are experts trained by experts who can competently navigate many issues. However, I also accept between 40 and 70 calls per day that go beyond the scope of the hotline or need more intricate assistance. I guess you could call me a one-man sub-hotline!
As I mentioned, my specialty and passion is building families: Therefore, I will never refuse a call or meeting that can help someone achieve that goal.
For standard Tahara questions, I defer callers to the hotline; however, the more complex questions come to my wife (director of the hotline), or myself.
Q: How long is a consultation? And, how many couples do you meet?
A: An average initial meeting is 1-1.5 hours, and takes place in our offices in Israel or via Zoom/phone. Extensive intake is done before any advice is dispensed. We then assume case management with follow-ups, collaborations with doctors, culminating with the birth of a healthy child B’Ezras Hashem.
We conduct on average about 25 of these meetings weekly, with that number constantly growing.
Q: What is your relationship with the doctors involved in the cases? How receptive are they to your input?
A: Thankfully, we have developed an incredibly positive relationship with top doctors and clinics around the world, and established a credibility with them so that they are often following our recommendations. Because our core offering is innovation, everything we suggest is backed by the latest research, and the doctors so appreciate that insight.
Furthermore, doctors appreciate when patients come to their appointments armed with the requisite knowledge! It makes the whole process more seamless, and they feel that they are working with educated consumers.
Q: Aside from the fertility focus, what accomplishment gives you personal gratification?
A: I love teaching; I believe that knowledge is power. This year alone, we have impacted at least half million ppl around the world through education.
From Russia to Argentina, from London to Los Angeles, we have trained over 500 professionals, who in turn transmit their newfound expertise to their communities. The feedback we receive from around the globe is both inspiring and empowering.
Q: Is there one particular story or even that made you emotional this year?
A: Every Simcha is an emotional Simcha! On principle I don’t attend many Simchos; because our involvement can be sensitive I don’t always know if my appearance is warranted. But sometimes it’s obvious that I need to be there. One of our couples, Anglos living in Yerushalaim, didn’t have children for 12 years. The case was very complex; we were deeply involved, spending hundreds of hours navigating the details. Many times, they were ready to give up and we had to serve as the cheerleaders, the ultimate birth of their child was a deeply emotional event.
Q: Have there been any notable changes in Tahareinu over the past year?
A: One thing that’s interesting is the increasing number of couples reaching out from across the UK & Europe. Although in the UK there is a lot of support for couples in the medical system, they know that for the latest innovation they need our personal involvement.
Q: What new plans are in the works for next year?
A: With great success comes great responsibility. We want to make our services available to even more couples.
Lastly, we need to expand our education, training more leaders and disseminating knowledge on even more topics in women’s health. The potential for empowerment is infinite, we strive every day to expand our knowledge and our impact, with Siyatta Dishmaya.