2016 Year In Review
Our organization addresses infertility through: Funding, Education, and Support.
FUNDING FERTILITY TREATMENTS: We are on target to offer four $5,000 - $10,000 pilot grants for fertility treatments to couples who apply through our application process in 2017. Our participating fertility clinics will make up the difference of treatments to make sure a full fertility cycle is completed. Additionally, our local partner JIFLA (Jewish Interest Free Loan Association) will allocate up to a $5,000 interest free loan to our grantees (and other applicants who are financially in need).
COMMUNITY EDUCATION – Shifts in Behavior and Shifts in Definition:
In general, the topic of infertility and its impact on the individual and couple is rarely addressed by the Jewish Community. JFF is dedicated to not only shifting the definition (and understanding of) infertility, but also shifting the behavior of how the Jewish community views and supports infertile families. Examples of what we have done and are doing to open dialogues and to provide education include:
- SPEAKING: Our Board and volunteers speak at synagogues and Jewish functions around Atlanta.
- TABELING: We staff informational tables at community events.
- TRAINING CLERGY: Through a generous sponsorship from the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, we held a ½-day training for Atlanta rabbis and cantors, lead by a trainer from our partner organization Hasidah, which focused on ways that they can support people dealing with infertility. The seminar provided a background, language, and definition of the many issues caused by infertility. It taught clergy how to apply existing skills and learn new skills related to infertility support.
- TRAINING MIKVAH STAFF: Our next training is scheduled for April and will convene all 6 Atlanta Mikvahs and their staff to train their guides in a similar capacity to the clergy training.
SUPPORT– Shifts in Engagement: Though all four of the Atlanta-based fertility clinics offer Support Groups, many of JFF’s 79 Atlanta-based Jewish clients (individuals that have reached out in some capacity since JFF started) agree that there is something comforting about having a shared Jewish background when opening-up to others about something as personal as infertility.
- SUPPORT GROUPS: JFF acquired the only other Jewish infertility support group WISH (Women/Men Infertility Support & Help) that was housed at Temple Sinai. The model was changed to a needs and community-based model and now is successfully meeting once a month with a licensed infertility therapist at MACoM. It attracts on average 8-12 Jewish individuals currently experiencing infertility. Thanks to the generous support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, our next support group will be formed to serve the Toco Hills Community.
- FERTILITY BUDDIES: Additionally, JFF has matched 4 mentors with active clients through the JFF mentorship program. Veterans, as we call them, who have gone through their own fertility journey and are now helping women just starting their journey to motherhood. One might think that the new woman is the one who is receiving the help, but there is also a healing factor for the Veteran offering the support.
- ONLINE SUPPORT: JFF operates a private local Jewish Facebook support group with 22 active members and is growing daily.