FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 2019
Jewish people facing medical infertility have a new resource to turn to in Cincinnati: the Jewish Fertility Foundation-Cincinnati (JFF-CINCY).
JFF provides financial assistance, educational awareness, and emotional support to Jewish people who have medical fertility challenges.
Based in Atlanta, JFF is thrilled to announce the opening of its second office in Cincinnati led by Fertility Law Attorney, Rachel Loftspring.
1 in 6 Jewish couples face infertility at some point, and at least one study suggests the psychological symptoms associated with infertility are similar to those associated with other serious medical conditions.. The rates of infertility within the Jewish community are higher than the 1 in 8 national US average, as shown below:
In Cincinnati, young adults ages 18-34 comprise 17% of Jewish households and maturing adults ages 34-49 comprise 16% of Jewish households, according to the 2008 Jewish Community Study. This means roughly ⅓ of the Cincinnati Jewish population is of child-bearing age, and statistically approximately 1 in 6 of have, are, or will face infertility. In addition, the 2008 Jewish Community Study found that younger adults ages 18-34 are “just managing” financially, compared to the other groups, making the high cost of infertility treatments all the more significant. For reference, the average cost of an IVF cycle Cincinnati is approximately $14,000. And, of course, there is no guarantee that a cycle will be successful.
Through JFF-CINCY, we have the opportunity to respond to infertility needs with a Jewish resource. Just as Honeymoon-Israel brings young Jewish couples into the Jewish community and the JCC Early Childhood School and Rockwern bring young Jewish families into the Jewish community, JFF-CINCY would provide another entre into our Jewish community and at a critical inflection point. By supporting those facing medical infertility, emotionally and financially, we continue our important work of (literally) building a vibrant, strong, and engaged Cincinnati Jewish community. And by educating our community leaders and constituents on the topic of infertility, we create new pathways to combat the stigma and shame of infertility.
JFF-CINCY Current Offerings:
JFF-CINCY volunteers, with the support of JFF staff, will work together to steward our Fertility Buddies program, host educational events, award fertility grants in partnership with fertility clinic discounted rates, build community partnerships, and fundraise in order to meet the need of the Cincinnati community. JFF-CINCY will use the models and assets already developed by JFF in order not to “recreate the wheel.” For example, JFF-CINCY is implementing the established Fertility Buddy program used in Atlanta through the use of JFF’s meticulously developed Handbook and training of the Cincinnati Fertility Buddies veterans (i.e. those who have gone through infertility) by JFF’s licensed infertility therapist..
Similarly, for the grants, we will use JFF’s established metrics and systematic process by which applicants are chosen: (1) Screening application; (2) Financial qualification committee determination; (3) Medical advisory committee determination; (4) Board of Directors vote; and (5) Funding directly to the medical facility. In the immediate, a member from the Cincinnati community will serve on each of the Finance Committee (TBD), the Medical Advisory Committee (Dr. Michael Scheiber), and the Board of Directors (Rachel Loftspring).
Our target population is any person experiencing medical infertility, and our aim is to help that person feel supported and less isolated throughout their infertility journey. In Atlanta, 90% of JFF-Atlanta’s constituency are women in their 20s - 40s. Within the Jewish community, our intention, as is the case in Atlanta, is to work with men and women who are Unaffiliated, Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Chabad, Interfaith, and LGBTQ.
Jewish Fertility Foundation’s Successes:
With the support of the board and the generous donors, JFF in Atlanta has offered 25 grants to Jewish couples to support fertility treatments worth over $250,000 in funds, fertility clinic discounts and loans, emotionally supported over 300 individuals experiencing infertility, and has trained over 500 Jewish communal leaders and medical professionals around infertility sensitivity. JFF has a Board of Directors comprised of 15 incredibly diverse individuals and a medical committee made up of 9 of the best fertility specialists in Atlanta and now in Cincinnati.
Jewish Fertility Foundation’s Executive Director & Founder:
"Becoming JFF’s first professional employee is literally life altering, not only for me, but for all of the families waiting to start families," remarked Executive Director & Founder, Elana Bekerman Frank. "People are always impressed that we’ve done so much in such a short time but really it’s only possible because of the dedicated group of volunteers that make up our Board of Directors and committees. They have been instrumental in raising awareness, donations and so much more over the past four years. Our grants cover fertility treatments, emotional support, counseling and education for fertility-challenged couples. We are removing the stigma of infertility in the Jewish community by training local Clergy and other fertility clinic staff on around infertility sensitivity and by offering emotional guidance through community-based support groups and our Fertility Buddies peer-to-peer relationship-based support initiative."
Jewish Fertility Foundation-Cincinnati’s Chair:
“In my Fertility Law practice, I provide legal counsel for clients experiencing infertility who are building their families
through third party reproduction,” said Rachel Loftspring, Partner at Essig & Evans, LLP and JFF-CINCY Advisory
Committee Chair. “But I felt a need to do more. When I learned of the Jewish Fertility Foundation and its incredible
work in Atlanta, I immediately thought the Cincinnati community would benefit from having a Jewish Fertility Foundation
in Cincinnati. It’s an honor to work with Jewish Fertility Foundation and the JFF-CINCY Advisory Board to make that happen.”