New Frum Parenting Book: Talking to Children About Intimacy

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cover-intimacy-bookSara Diament, M.A., a resident of Bergenfield, NJ has published, “Talking to children about intimacy: A guide for Orthodox Jewish parents” (Pub. Xlibris, $15.99), the first book of its kind to target the Jewish community.  

For over five years, Sara Diament has been an educator in local yeshivas, conducting workshops for girls. Sara quickly realized that there was a glaring gap in the parenting material available to Orthodox families.

“I’d been conducting workshops for a number of years, as well as working with parents, and realized that so many Orthodox parents were at a loss as to how to approach these topics with their children,” says Diament. “Parents did not feel confident enough to talk to their children without seeking guidance, but when they went to the local bookstore they didn’t feel that any of the available resources spoke to them…I distinctly remember that during one conversation with a parent, I lamented as to what a shame it was that there was no book on the market that spoke to the specific perspective of an Orthodox Jewish parent. That parent said to me, ‘Why don’t you write one?’, and that really got my wheels spinning.”

In her book, Sara guides parents on how to talk to their children about intimacy from an Orthodox perspective. In a conversational manner and with sensitivity, she provides user-friendly guidance on understanding the Jewish view of the topic and addresses the questions that parents have when broaching this topic with their children and teenagers. Sara  makes recommendations to parents on how to overcome discomfort and affectively engage their children throughout childhood and adolescence.

Diament, who holds masters degrees in both Jewish Studies and Health and Behavior Studies, found strong rabbinic support for her work.  Rabbi Hershel Schachter and Rabbi Mordechai Willig,  Roshei Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, offered her words of praise in their written approbations included in the book, as did Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski. In his letter, Rabbi Willig writes, “All Torah Jews agree that information on these delicate matters should come from a Torah perspective, and not from vulgar secular sources. Given today’s reality, the guide strongly advocates a frank parental discussion before misinformation can harm a child’s soul…and provides excellent instructions to parents who are understandably uncomfortable with such conversation.”

“My intention with this guide was to create a tool-box that parents could draw upon when their children are young and continue to revisit as their children mature,” comments Diament. “Over the last couple of years that I’ve been working on this project, I’ve had an enthusiastic response from all those who are aware of it and I’m excited that the book is finally available to them.” 

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. Read for content – it’s right there in the article:

    “Rabbi Hershel Schachter and Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Roshei Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, offered her words of praise in their written approbations included in the book, as did Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski.”

  2. It says in the article who agrees with the material in the book. If you don’t agree with them, don’t buy the book. It doesn’t need 40 rabbanim signing off on it.

  3. One more time:
    It says that there are approbations (which is the English for “haskamos”) from Rabbi Schachter, Rabbi Willig, and Rabbi Twerski.

    As she is an educator and mental health specialist, I would take what she says very seriously. The haskamos add to that.

    Take it or leave it.

  4. WE all grew up since Mamad Har Sinai without any books on this delicate subject, however we have plenty seforim written on Haskufah that includes these topics,

    In addition just because somebody writes a book & it has so called Haskomas that in itself does not make it right, as I am sure there is plenty to disagree, no matter who gave the Haskumah,

    I am sure this book is not for the frum or observant community & those who feel offended or disagree should not buy it or read it, I see a big controversy in the making as I am sure plenty so called Rabbonim will come out against it.

    Also dont forget it has Haskumos from the YU Rabbonim, however there are lots of us out there that dont recognize YU at all.

    Anybody could write a book & get some Haskumos, that does not mean its Halucha or we have to follow what they write & i am sure everybody has some commen sense & knows where to search for answers on differnet problamatic Topics arising in our daily life.

    Good luck to all you outhere if you agree or disagree.

  5. Every parent must speak to their children about intimacy, private matters, physical development—-either bring up the subject with them or if your child feels safe they will ask you. IF YOU DON’t the misinformation that is picked up from friends and others is damaging for a long time.

    How many haskamos are needed for a subject to be discussed? We are really a generation of ‘dead brain cells’- what a rachmanus for our kinderlach.

  6. That we need haskomas- or that the book is even needed- shows the sad state of the times. Tznius does NOT mean pretending these things don’t exist until you’re married; it means keeping them private, which is exactly why this job SHOULD fall to the parents. Parents should be talking to their kids early and often, from shortly before the physical changes begin. If your kids don’t get information from you, they will get it from very undesirable places. Also, in my work as a therapist, I can’t even tell you how widespread the problem is amongst married couples- from serious shalom bayis issues to trouble having children- all because no one ever had a healthy, honest conversation about intimacy.

  7. To put #13’s comment more precisely (from personal experience, unfortunately):

    If they don’t out the right way, they will find out the wrong way!

  8. I grew up in a frum community, where tsnius was instilled in us and the way to behave properly with the opposite gender was a given. Everyone knew what was right and wrong. Perhaps our parents taught us, I don’t remember. We didn’t need a book on the subject. I think the more modern communities have more of an issue with this subject, so maybe for them this book is an important guide.

  9. To Izzy Berkowitz:
    – The more people who say, I see a big controversy coming out of this, the more likely it is to happen.
    – There is also a haskama from Dr. Twerski. Say you eat foods only with a heimishe hashgacha, but you don’t eat food from hashgacha X. If you have some food with your preferred hashgacha AND the other one, would you not eat it? I can not imagine any sane person not taking Dr. Twerski seriously on such inyanim.
    – I know that these are “YU rabbanim”; why does anyone automatically not take THEM seriously? Do people here know YU rabbanim and their families personally? I do.
    – Am I making a grave error commenting, even if I’m intending to defend the kavod of rabbonim who are probably bigger lamdanim than any of their detractors on this site, because of the inevitable negative comments?
    – I don’t think I can take ANY negative comments here seriously UNLESS the commenters have read the whole book cover to cover.

  10. experts in Halucha or Lectures and of course giving shiurim in class & does not make them experts on all issue’s, never mind Personal or private issue’s at all, each & every parent knows his or her children best & not some therapist or counselor just because they have a degree from some university on their wall,

    yes I have some married children myself & I raised some very well children without any advice from a RUV, Counselor or Therapist or any book for that matter & so will my children follow in the same footsteps without any interference from anybody in the outside world & hope they never have a problem, Heaven forbid should one arise they will know whom to consult.
    they will never ever consult a THERAPIST OR COUNSLER that got his degree from some COLLEGE in the GOYISHA world as that is worst place to go for advice.

    just for the record, several prominent frum psychologists are long past as they are from the old school & have no idea what goes on today & honestly it’s time for them to retire. They may have served a purpose a while back . but that is a very long time ago.

    Just for the record I have spent some time with so called College experts & I must say they are quite a Disgrace & nothing more than a farce & their advice is nothing more than a bunch of nonsense.
    I had a very bad experience with all these Therapists or so called Shrinks & I would not take their advice for free, never mind paying for it. I have very little respect for these so called Professionals and hold them in a very low esteem.

    now all of you out here who agree with me or disagree good luck & do as you please.

    Hope you have a very good relationship with these so called Professionals.

  11. You write, “some are long past”. I really shouldn’t be here during my machsom hours but maybe there’s a reason, to stick up for the kavod of great people. Including one prominent older (pushing 80) psychiatrist who repeatedly says that he is not daas Torah (though I think he is ) and that people should consult daas Torah. Evidently he has his head on straight. At least I think so.

    Not sure why I’m bothering.

    I sincerely mean this: may you and your family NOT have mental health, shalom bayis, etc. issues that will require you or them to consult a professional. I only fargin the best on everyone. Schadenfreude is not a Jewish concept.

  12. My earlier post may go through, which is fine. My apologies: your mentioning your experiences didn’t register, just that you managed to raise your family without etc.


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