‘Balaboostas’ Host 1st Ever Event

Photos by Chana Lewis

The first official Balaboostas.com event, “After the Kallah Class”, took place Thursday evening in the Crown Heights community. It was a lecture on intimacy by psychotherapist, Rivka Sidorsky, LCSW-C. The crowd of 70 women listened on intently, as she spoke about issues and topics that concern married Jewish women.

The sensitive and crucial topic of intimacy was discussed from a psychological, as well as a physiological standpoint. Starting out with basic information on healthy intimacy, and ending with frequently asked questions in the frum community, Rivka Sidorsky was engaging and comfortable to listen to.

After an hour and half of lecturing, women got to ask questions, discuss, and mingle around the refreshment table. “The lecture was conducted in such a modest manner. For the subject content, that was really impressive”, said some women who attended. “There should definitely be more events like this!”, others added.

“This was an exciting moment for the Balaboostas community. For its first official event, the feedback from the women who attended was superb and it was a great success! I hope that this is a start of many more in the future”, said Bracha Bard-Wigdor, creator of Balaboostas.com. Introducing the event was Mrs. Fraidy Yanover and it was hosted in the Gutnick residence.

For the readers who want to attend the next lecture, you can subscribe to email news on Balaboostas.com

32 Comments

  • 2. not necessarily kosher wrote:

    not everything posted is halachically verified, quite the contrary!
    The evening was probably more appropriate, but the online forum/website is not moderated by any proper authority, anyone posts what they feel, and if someone tries to say anything more kosher, it is not allowed on

  • 3. workshop was great but... wrote:

    the workshop was informative and presented in a tzniyus’dike and aidel fashion. however, I would not encourage women to join balaboostas.com. I personally know several women who presented to others a more ruchniyus’dike side to issues being discussed, and since it was too “right winged”, they were knocked off the forum. while a forum might be an outlet for some, a woman who wants to do things with a lichatchila approach should think twice before signing up.

  • 4. x member wrote:

    This website used to be on facebook and then moved to a person website so they can have more control over the people who sign up and its run like a dictatorship

  • 5. not so great wrote:

    In order to sign up you need to give all your personal info and i mean personal, not just which sem you went to but what your ideas are and how frum and how modern and what you do and so on,

    Then if approved you can log in but its not free speech at all if you say something that the owner dosnt like they throw you off.

    Also there is no such thing as anonymous since the owner of the website can see who is writing anonymous so she gets to see everyone’s person stories when asking for help from their fellow friends on private matters

  • 6. Mushka wrote:

    This website is a fantastic idea but just know that nothing is private, the administrator has a lot of info on people in ch and in the chabad community and it gets around, the people in charge talk and yente i already heard personal stories from people who thought their info would stay private

  • 7. israel wrote:

    Balaboostas.com might no be meant for you but no one has the right to bash a site that has helped hundreds of women. There is a disclaimer on site if you don’t like it don’t join. No need to spread negative vibes about something positive!!!

  • 8. t #7 wrote:

    Helping hundreds of women is a matter of opinion, and last I checked, there is still some freedom of speech here
    At the same time that they purport to be helping people, they could be damaging many a yiddishe home, badly affecting sholom bayis, and badly advising women on what is and isn’t appropriate behavior for a frum person.
    If they suggest not listening to halacha, and delete comments that favor a more kosher approach…

  • 9. a balaboosta fan! wrote:

    how many personal stories did u hear 1 or more? bc there is a major difference!
    and as a plus if people are annoyed about something they will exaggerate as much as they can in order to get what they are annoyed about more in their head! and u know what?!? this is how rumours come around.
    Did u ever think that maybe the director is reading all these comments?
    how do u think u have made her feel?
    i think before u post such nasty things, even if u r annoyed or angry with something or someone, think before yuo write!
    This is a website that is geared to everyone…. ur just spreading lies and rumours about something u probably have no clue about!

    and just as a bonus…… soooooooo many people have signed up and the sign ups are still coming in. dont u think that if there was soooo much negativity about the website not sooo many people would want to join?

    im on the website and i think that it is great!!!!

    Bracha keep it going! and we ALL love balaboostas!
    dont listen to people that had one little story and enjoy to exagerate and ruin things for people.

  • 10. haters gonna hate wrote:

    Clearly none of you bashing balaboostas has ever actually been on the site because it is amazing and unless someone is anonymous for no reason or rude no comments are deleted and no one is kicked off for being “too frum”.

  • 11. devorah wrote:

    If you don’t like what you have heard about balaboostas then don’t join but don’t start bashing it over the internet. Its not necessary.
    Personally I think balaboostas is great and the admin do a great job at keeping it a safe forum.

  • 12. avid member wrote:

    all you people who are writing all this hateful mail is just upset not to be part of it! balaboostas helps so many women that nobody else in the community cares for!! im on all the time and love it soo much!! keep it up!

  • 13. Balaboostas is amazing! wrote:

    How can all of u talk negatively about something u don’t personally know?
    Balaboostas in an amazing SAFE place for women to share, get support and talk about sensitive topics in a secure environment. It is moderated and applications are verified so that it stays safe! Only respectful comment are allowed and it says clearly that noone is giving a p’sak halacha – a Rav must be asked all halachik question. U must ask UR Rav!
    And lastly, the anonymous feature is truly anonymous. I have used it several times and it has helped me tremendously. The moderators have no desire to try and find out who all the anonymous posters are.
    I really hope people can stop talking badly about this wondeful forum and learn to live peacefully together!
    Bracha, we love u and support u 100%!

  • 15. Balaboosta Fan wrote:

    A lot of the comment on here about Balaboostas are making me sick. Let me clarify a few things for you:
    1) When you comment anonymously, the moderator has NO way to see who you are, it is completely private.
    2) When you sign up, you have to give a lot of personal info to ensure that there are no fakers or men on the website, which makes it more PRIVATE, not less.
    3) The ONLY people that get kicked off the forum are the ones that are being outright disrespectful or aren’t following the rules.
    There is more, but let me just say that the woman who runs the website is completely QUALIFIED. If you are unhappy with the website, fine, don’t join. But don’t badmouth just to be mean, especially when what you’re writing ISN”T TRUE!

  • 16. the site is purely done with love! wrote:

    Balaboostas is a support team. We have people on there who we daven for. The is a tehillim list. Do you even know how many kapitals of tehillim were said and how many loves have been helped. There was a mother who asked us to please say tehillim for her newborn who was in nicu and two days later he was home. Another woman needed help finding a mohel for a cousins baby who would otherwise have been circumcised by a regular Dr instead of a mohel, and guess what? The baby got a proper bris. This website is full of mitzvas! These are just a couple of examples of how wonderful this site

  • 17. Bracha and Balaboostas rock! wrote:

    The site has been amazing for me. I live in a town without many Jews and even fewer frum ones. Balaboostas has given me people to talk to and friends that are amazing. Even if I dont see eye to eye with everyone always I am never mad or angry at differing opinions. This forum is moderated beautifully and if anyone says anything hurtful it is deleted immediately! It is a much needed site and I am truly thankful for it!

  • 18. Anonymous wrote:

    When you sit with your friends and discuss different topics do you call a rav to sit with you too ?? So take it as that , it’s a group of friends discussing different topics but all are sitting on different couches around the world …

  • 19. A Balaboostas Applicant wrote:

    It’s good to see other woman here feel like I do about Bracha Bard-Wigdor’s site Balaboosta’s. The administrative process to be accepted is ridiculous. There is absolutely no privacy afforded it’s members. She asks many many personal questions about you. Most that are really not hers or anyone else’s business and are not necessary. What they are for I believe is for her nosy pleasure. And get this, after applying she sends you an email asking for your Facebook profile to verify you are who you say you are. She wants access to your personal facebook account too. Insane! No I will not be forwarding you my facebook info Mrs. Bard-Wigdor. And anyone who provides her all their ‘real and personal’ information through her ‘application’ are seriously naive. On her defense she does “apologize for the inconvenience and hope’s you understand.” Sorry…nope…I do not understand. But, thank you anyways!!

  • 20. I LOVE BALABOOSTAS! wrote:

    I absolutely love balaboostas. It is great and I have made many new friends.

    To all the haters- There is a warning that says that the comments are peoples opinions and NOT halacha.

  • 21. Warning wrote:

    “Some of the material in this section may not be suitable for all viewers. Please continue only if you are comfortable viewing such material. This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the P’sak of any Rabbinical authority. It also does not give Heterim or P’sak Torah of any kind. Always consult your local Halachic authority.”

    This is clearly stated every time someone writes/posts or to even look at the thread. For all you misinformed people, don’t bash something if you don’t have your facts straight. Balsboostas is an amazing, safe, supportive, and loving community for women of all kinds. GO BRACHA!!!!!

  • 22. please stop bashing balaboostas wrote:

    To all those who THINK they know how the site works unless you are on there you don’t know. Bracha verifies EACH WOMAN that applies to the website to make they are a real jewish woman which ales a lot of time and effort. She also provides as much knowledge that we can on a topic and will site sources as needed. No one on the site can give 100% medical or halachic advice in threads advice can be given based on personal experience but it is ALWAYS advised to ask a rav/ doctor Balaboostas is a great way to make friends from different walks of life that you may not meet otherwise. People share their views and differences and even though people ,ay not a,ways agree at the end of the day they can put their differences aside and still be friends. It provides an outlet where people might not be comfortable talking about certain topics in real life and can provide help to their everyday lives

  • 23. agree with # 20 wrote:

    i have had some really bad experience with the admin of the website, and as well with the store on kingston, as they say everyone is always nice as long as everything is going well, when there is a problem thats when you see their true colors

  • 24. rc wrote:

    it seems it’s the same person bashing the forum.
    haters are always gonna hate!!!!
    there is no truth to any of the bashing on here, NONE!!!
    i personally know BBW and have been a fan of the facebook page and forum!!

  • 25. Hi balaboostas fan club wrote:

    Lol- love the regular posters whipped into a frenzy on the forum and now coming here to defend it.
    People in the frum community- wake up! It’s time we realised that just because someone means well, or helps some people, etc etc , that somehow that justifies everything they do.
    This isn’t loshon hara- there are serious concerns with the need for control and unhealthy boundaries going on here (and no I’m not jealous that I’m not part of it- I’m a member an read your posts regularly, just don’t need every other frum women reading all my posts and knowing everything about me and having a good laugh- as the majority of balaboostas ‘members’ are actually doing!!)
    A responsible qualified professional would never assume so much responsibility over other people’s lives in this way- and if they did- I would have the exact same concerns.
    But don’t worry, carry on sharing all your personal info for others vouyeristic entertainment!

  • 26. think twice before joining wrote:

    i read all of the comments and i see that there are women who really like the website and feel that they are being helped by it and feel that they are part of the community.

    as much as those women are being helped, i think that it’s appropriate to talk about some “red flags”
    it says: “klal yisroel areivin zeh lozeh”. all jews are responsible for one another, and if one sees another in danger, they should try to help them. so even if the website does make some women comfortable, it is not the ideal place for a LUBAVITCHER woman to go to. i know that it’s not specifically geared for lubavitch women, but this article showed up on a LUBAVITCHER website, which introduces this website to many of OUR women. even though recipes, chinuch, vacation ideas, etc. are shared together, there are MANY posts that are not appropriate for sharing.

    EVERYONE knows that we don’t discuss intimate subjects with others, even anonymously. one needs to go to a rav/mashpia/professional/therapist, etc for guidance. posting anonymously can be so harmful to one.

    mashal: a man emails a heart doctor and tells him all of the heart pain that he has to the best of his ability, and he wants the doctor to prescribe medication, or to tell him if he’s having a heart attack, etc. when the doctor asks him for his name and medical background, he answers that he prefers to remain anonymous. what normal person would behave that way, and which normal doctor would actually diagnose? (a normal doctor would say that if ANYTHING is an issue, go straight to a doctor face to face and check yourself out. the nimshal is obvious. why would someone who really cares about their married life want to share details with others, even anonymously? and if they really cared, why are they not going to a real professional? why do they need to hear from a moderator, or read the fine print, that in their situation, they should go to a rav/professional,etc.

    on that being said, I think that it’s very appropriate for commentors to write their comments, so it can inform others who are not on the website to think twice if such a forum is for them to join or not.

    The comments are only meant to show others that there are 2 sides to every story. So even if you are happy with it and have not exprienced or heard of any of the negative effects, you should now be aware of it. Perhaps all of these comments would make Bracha realize what the public is talking about, and how it can be changed to provide appropriate standards for ALL women.

  • 27. Sarah wrote:

    I’ve seen the forum and see what goes on and I just want to say that all these haters haven’t been on the forum because if you were on it you would see that no one gets kicks off because someone doesn’t like them. And if I don’t want to read something then I won’t read it!! I can’t stand how people are saying its a bad place and has horrible things on it. You don’t even know what there!!! And for all of you who think that the admin and moderators know who is writing under anonymous should ask any tech guy if it really is visible and you will find out that it’s not.

  • 28. attn #24 wrote:

    to #24- if you cannot appreciate what balaboostas has to offer then please remove yourself from the forum. if all youre doing on the forum is laughing and spreading rumors then you dont belong.

  • 29. Ishah wrote:

    @16
    All three of your claims are ridiculous.

    It is ignorance to suggest that the moderators don’t know who writes a post ‘anonymously’. No one that knows anything about the way that internet servers work would believe that.

    It is also crazy to suggest that giving out all your private information somehow makes it more private. Do you really think readers of this site are that stupid?

  • 30. Dina wrote:

    To those of you who have so many complaints against Balaboostas, then simply don’t join! No one is forcing you to join! Spreading nasty rumors about a website that you aren’t part of just isn’t necessary. Bracha is amazing and she runs Balaboostas purely to help Jewish women connect and enhance their lives. She is super professional and she does everything possible to keep things safe and private. She NEVER claims to be a halachic authority, and she in no way tries to rule people’s lives. Nobody is ever kicked out because of being too frum or not frum enough, everyone who is a respectful married Jewish women is accepted. Listen, if you don’t feel that the forum is for you, then don’t sign up!! But don’t spread things that simply aren’t true!

  • 31. freedom of speech works both ways wrote:

    I’ve been reading the above comments with interest.

    I’ve noticed that all comments presenting sincere opinions which indicate that the website has its possible drawbacks are immediately responded to from a supporter of the website in a manner which is decidedly aggressive and sounds more like a personal tirade.

    Citing an opinion that differs from yours does not make someone a ‘motzei shem rah’. When you attack people who present what they consider to be ‘red flags’ to the website, instead of responding in a calm and polite manner, you are behaving in an overly defensive way which implies that you yourself feel uncomfortable about something.

  • 32. Heart? wrote:

    #31
    If someone is bashing a friend/service you feel strongly passionate about, bc it has helped u so much, then yeah, you don’t need to defend it bc you are so confident about your opinions so who cares what others think?
    But this is done publicly, and it’s not even TRUE.
    The people bashing it are people who didn’t experience it and the people defending it are the people using it!

    #24
    Finding other peoples problems humorous is downright cruel and heartless, and the only mistake this site has made unavoidably is letting you join.

    If we sit idly by and let people put the site down, then we wouldn’t feel this strongly about it.

    People have been supported so lovingly through countless serious issues and try saying what you are saying in real life, in the face of that same victim of miscarriage, divorcee, cheated on, chronically ill, etc etc people, I’m sure you couldn’t do it. Because deep down you do have a heart. Please use it.

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