Meet Adina Tanen
“In the Jewish community, I feel a lot of these issues such as mental health related to pregnancy, infertility, and eating disorders are very taboo. They’re not talked about. I want to try to fix that.”
Adina is changing the narrative regarding women’s health and sexuality in the Jewish community, and reintroducing the community to something we may think we know: our own bodies.
The emphasis on childbearing in Jewish life and the lacking sexual education being given at Jewish day schools didn’t add up for Adina.
Since leaving the Jewish day school system, Adina became fascinated in the topic of women’s health. She suggests that part of her passion for women’s health stems from the lacking sexual education that is given in the Jewish day school system. “In my research, I was surprised to learn about parts of women’s fertility cycle for the first time.”
Adina has made it her mission to educate herself on these issues so that she can educate others. “In the Jewish community, I feel a lot of these issues such as mental health related to pregnancy, infertility, and eating disorders are very taboo. They’re not talked about. I want to try to fix that.”
“It’s unhealthy to not know things about your own body. I hope the Jewish communities can get to a place where we feel more comfortable talking about these things.”
Adina recognizes that this is not limited to the Jewish community in Toronto, but is a problem in communities worldwide. With her knowledge on the topic of women’s health, she hopes to raise awareness of the issue. “More people in our community experience issues related to fertility than we might realize. It’s more common than we know. With such an emphasis on childbearing and family in the Jewish community, people can be made to feel ashamed of their fertility issues.”
Adina hopes to become a clinical psychologist and women’s health educator because she wholly believes in the need for leadership in the Jewish community to recognize and acknowledge these issues. “It is important for leaders of the community to be educated about these issues and be sensitive to the needs of the community.”
Especially in the religious community, with its emphasis on marrying young, Adina understands the potential danger of entering this phase of life undereducated in matters of sexuality. “People go into marriage unprepared and uneducated about their sexual health. I want to improve the education and awareness and make these topics less taboo.”
Adina Tanen grew up in Thornhill and recently graduated from York University with a degree in Psychology. Adina hopes to become a clinical psychologist and women’s health educator, and wants to advocate within the Jewish community for greater awareness of these issues.
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Jumans of Toronto is a window into the lives and passion of Jewish young adults making their mark in the world. A 50-part series, Jumans is inspired by Humans of New York. If you’d like to recommend someone awesome to be highlighted, please send an email to email@example.com.
Written by: Adina Samuels