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By Shira Donath
Unpacking is a podcast series that delves into issues facing the Orthodox Jewish community.
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Unpacking Pregnancy Crises
In this episode, we are joined by Erica Pelman of In Shifra's Arms.  Erica Pelman founded In Shifra’s Arms in 2009 and has acted as Executive Director ever since. Previously she worked at the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2001-2008 on national outreach and workforce development partnerships. She was raised in Austin, Texas and has a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Erica is has made her home in Aspen Hill Maryland with her husband and eclectic band of four kids. 
December 07, 2021
Unpacking Meaning
In this episode, we interview Rabbi Dr. Jay Goldmintz about cultivating meaning in ourselves and our children.  Rabbi Dr. Jay Goldmintz is a veteran day school educator and administrator who has published widely on curriculum, tefillaheducation, child and adolescent religious development as well as religious parenting. He currently teaches Tanakh and Jewish Philosophy at Ma`ayanot Yeshiva High School. He is author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning Koren Ani Tefila Weekday Siddur as well as a companion volume on the Shabbat Siddur. He was a Jerusalem Fellow and served in various capacities including Headmaster at Ramaz High School for over 30 years and as an adjunct at Azrieli Graduate School. You can read some of Jay's writing in a column called "The Soul of Parenting" here:
April 05, 2021
Unpacking Abuse Prevention
In this episode, we interview Rahel Bayar, CEO of The Bayar Group.  Rachel is a former sex crimes and child abuse prosecutor who has worked in the field of sexual misconduct and abuse prevention for over a decade. She built her career on creating safe spaces and facilitating change in workplaces globally. Rahel recently served as a Managing Director in the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations division of a global security and consulting firm. Previously, she spent many years as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence Bureaus at the Bronx District Attorney’s office. As a prosecutor, Rahel was responsible for the prosecution and investigation of hundreds of sex crimes, child abuse, and domestic violence cases including high-profile rape cases. As a consultant, Rahel developed and delivered customized interactive workshops, lectures and trainings across the country to diverse workplaces. She has consulted for K-12 independent schools, camps, media outlets, financial firms, law firms, global youth organizations, corporations, churches, synagogues, religious organizations and nonprofits. She is a sought after and widely renowned speaker for her engaging workshops on the topics of sexual misconduct, abuse prevention & detection, safe social media and electronic communication practices, boundary guidelines, and consent. Over the past decade, Rahel has consulted with organizations across the country and conducted many highly sensitive investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and boundary crossing behavior. She has leveraged her forensic interview training of children as well as her investigatory skills to ensure respect, neutrality and an empathetic process. Rahel has piloted leadership training and child safety best practices training at multiple summer camps across the US & Canada and is a consultant to camp directors. Ms. Bayar is the author of a curriculum on teaching abuse prevention in specific faith-based communities and has been featured on webinars for camps, schools and parents on preventing sexual abuse of children. She serves on multiple faith based child protection committees, on the advisory council of Ta’amod: Transforming Jewish Workplaces, has co-authored articles on sexual abuse and was recognized by The Jewish Week 36 Under 36 in 2017 for her activism and efforts towards preventing sexual misconduct and abuse, particularly against children. Rahel is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University and received her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law. Website Instagram  @rahel.bayar LinkedIn Rahel Bayar Twitter @thebayargroup
January 13, 2021
Unpacking Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In this episode of Unpacking, Rachel Wainer Apter joins us for a conversation about her personal relationship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which began when she served as a law clerk on the Supreme Court for Justice Ginsburg. Rachel's full bio can be found below. To donate or sponsor an episode, please go to and select "Unpacking Podcast." Rachel Wainer Apter became the Director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights on October 15, 2018. She previously served as Counsel to the Attorney General, advising on civil rights and immigration matters and leading the New Jersey team that defeated a preliminary injunction motion by Texas and seven other states to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Rachel worked at the American Civil Liberties Union on cases concerning the right to be free from discrimination, reproductive freedom, voting rights, and other federal constitutional questions. She served as counsel in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which considered whether a baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple on religious grounds was exempt from Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws. She also served as counsel on a challenge to the Trump Administration’s decision to allow employers with moral or religious objections to contraception to opt out of providing coverage to women employees without ensuring that the women could still access no-cost contraception. Rachel also argued and won a disability discrimination appeal and led a task force regarding investigations of sexual harassment and sexual assault on college campuses. Prior to the ACLU, Rachel worked in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, where she briefed and argued cases in federal and state courts. She was also a leader of the firm-wide Women’s Initiative. Rachel, who grew up in Rockaway, New Jersey, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received her law degree from Harvard Law School. After law school, Rachel served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court, Judge Robert Katzmann on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Jed Rakoff on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Rachel lives in Englewood with her husband and three children.
December 08, 2020
Unpacking Wellness
In this episode our guest is Tziporah Gelman, founder of an all female fitness boutique studio Frumba Chicago, in Skokie, Illinois.  Her dream is to inspire women to love themselves and empower them through her workouts. Her message is one of self love and self care. To donate or sponsor an episode, please go to and select "Unpacking Podcast."
October 07, 2020
Unpacking Women's Education
In this episode our guest is Dr. Leslie Ginsparg Klein, the Academic Dean of Women’s Institute of Torah Seminary and author of the children’s book "Sarah Builds a School”. She received her Ph.D. from New York University, where she researched the history of Orthodox girls’ education in America and the Bais Yaakov movement. To donate or sponsor an episode, please go to and select "Unpacking Podcast."
August 19, 2020
Unpacking Expectations
Join us for an interview with Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz in which we unpack expectations of women in the Orthodox Jewish community. To donate or sponsor an episode, please go to and select "Unpacking Podcast." Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz has spent more than 15 years in the field of Jewish secondary and post-secondary education. She currently serves Associate Principal, General Studies at SAR High School, and has also served as Director of General Studies at The Frisch School. Dr. Schwartz earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University, writing her dissertation about the cultural history of the Manhattan Project. She lectures widely on issues of contemporary importance in the Orthodox community.
June 30, 2020