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EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

SUPPORT GROUPS

These support groups are free and open to all experiencing infertility in Pittsburgh.

Register for a JFF-PGH Support Group

FERTILITY BUDDIES

Our fertility buddies practice “relationship-based support.” Individuals currently experiencing infertility and/or on a family-building journey are matched with trained fertility buddy veterans, who understand the pressure, pain, and emotional upheaval caused by infertility and various pathways to parenthood, and can offer the much-needed support to their buddies.

Need a buddy?Want to become a buddy?

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

JFF-PITTSBURGH FERTILITY GRANTS

As a Pittsburgh resident, you may be eligible to apply for our grants:

  • Invitro Fertilization (IVF)
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Other financial benefits through JFF include:

  • 20% off discounts from our partner clinics
  • Interest-free loans
  • Pharmacy discounts for medications and genetic testing (of embryos) discounts from our partners
Learn More

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

JOIN US!

JFF offers community programming to spread awareness of infertility and to bring our amazing community together.

Check out our events!

PITTSBURGH COUNSELORS & CLINICS

JFF partner fertility clinics offer grantees a 20% discounted rate off of IVF treatments.

JFF-PITTSBURGH TEAM

Meet the JFF-PGH Manager

This is a headshot for Meredith Levy.

Meredith
JFF-PGH Manager

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Meredith was raised in Pittsburgh, and after a short time in Washington, D.C., returned to raise her family. Meredith earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. She returned to Pittsburgh to attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing to earn her MSN and begin her career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Between her professional medical experiences, and her own journey with fertility treatments, she developed a strong understanding of the vulnerability and strong emotions felt throughout the process.

Meredith is excited to help bring awareness and support for men and women undergoing their own fertility journeys in the Pittsburgh community as the JFF-Pittsburgh Manager.

Meet the JFF-PGH Advisory Council

Pnina Cohen

Pnina Cohen has lived in the Pittsburgh area for about 16 years. She moved here from Connecticut, with her husband Avi to raise a family in a vibrant Jewish community with all the resources that a community offers. 17 years and 3 IVF babies later Pnina and Avi were recently blessed with an "unmedicated" baby growing their family to 6. Pnina has alot of experience in the medical and neurodivergent communities having explored them both for herself and her children. Pnina is passionate about supporting and advocating for people going through life's challenges.

Why JFF?
Having gone through many years of fertility challenges Pnina knows first hand how isolating the journey can be. She knows how disconnected it can make a couple/family from their community and is excited to be able to support local individuals on their own fertility journeys as well as helping the community at large have a better understanding of the fertility struggle and how best to support community members going through it.

This is a headshot for Sharon Cooper.

Sharon Cooper

Sharon Cooper is originally from the Washington, DC area and moved to Pittsburgh with her family in 2011. She and her husband struggled with secondary infertility issues and are so grateful to have two IVF babies in their family of 5 today - including three boys, her husband Jason and herself. Sharon works for the International Ocean Discovery Program and is a children's book author.

WHY JFF?
Sharon understands (at least some) of the emotional and physical challenges of infertility and is eager to help support others on their journeys and feel less alone.

This is a headshot for Judith Kanal.

Judith Kanal

Judi was born in NY but transplanted to Pittsburgh by marriage and couldn’t be happier. She began her career as a pre-school teacher, but ultimately chose to stay home to raise her children. Once home, Judi found her true love - volunteering for the Jewish Community of Pittsburgh: Hillel Academy, Jewish Women’s League, Kollel Jewish Learning Center, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Congregation Poale Zedeck, and Chevra Kadisha to name a few.

WHY JFF?
After seeing one of her children deal with infertility issues for years, Judi was excited to join the JFF and help assist others dealing with this issue.

This is a headshot for Alison Karabin

Alison Karabin

Alison is a proud Pittsburgher. She received her BA in History and Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work (Yeshiva University). After finishing her undergraduate degree, Alison moved to Israel for 5 years where she completed the one-year program at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and worked in the non-profit sector. She returned to Pittsburgh in 2002 to be closer to family. Alison has over 20 years’ experience as social worker, she also enjoys cooking, reading and volunteering for the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.

Alison lives in Squirrel Hill with her husband, Josh, their 11-year-old son, Zach and their dog, Roxy.

Why JFF?
Alison is passionate about the work of JFF, because of her own experience with infertility. She found the multiple rounds of unsuccessful IUI emotionally draining and isolating. Alison feels strongly about talking openly about infertility and does not want anyone to suffer alone. Alison and her husband adopted their son from St. Petersburg, Russia and would like to help others actualize their dream of completing their family.

This is a headshot of Emily Lebovitz.

Emily Lebovitz

Emily was born and raised in Squirrel Hill and was an active member at the Tree of Life Congregation for many years. She received her BA in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and MD degree from Drexel University College of Medicine. After graduating from medical school, Emily decided to return to Pittsburgh where she completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital. She is now practicing OB/GYN as part of the Allegheny Health Network.
Emily lives in Squirrel Hill with her sons, Jonah and Joshua. In her spare time, Emily enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing tennis, bike riding and traveling.

Why JFF?
Emily has over 15 years of experience caring for patients who are experiencing infertility. She understands the emotional and financial challenges that patients and families experience along this journey. When Emily learned that JFF was coming to Pittsburgh, she was eager to help. She is very excited to be a part of this organization.

This is a headshot for Erika Schmitt.

Erika Schmitt

Advisory Council Chair

Erika Schmitt, MSW, LSW, is Director of Adoption & Permanency Services at The Children's Home & Lemieux Family Center. As such, Erika oversees programs for domestic infant adoption, adoption from foster care, SWAN (Pennsylvania's Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network), and Counseling services, including counseling for couples and individuals experiencing infertility, and using assisted reproductive technology, third party reproduction and surrogacy. Erika received her Bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in social work, both from the University of Pittsburgh. She is passionate about helping individuals and couples grow their families and become parents, through whatever means is best for them. Erika was born and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh and has never left the area! Erika is also a single mom by choice and parenting a daughter.

Why JFF?
Erika has both personal and professional experience in the infertility realm. From both perspectives, Erika has witnessed the financial and emotional challenges that accompany the infertility journey. Support during this process is crucial and when Erika learned of JFF's ability to help in both of these areas, as well as raise awareness and give a voice to a topic not often discussed, she immediately knew she wanted to see the Pittsburgh community be able to benefit from these services. After heading the initial exploratory committee, Erika is beyond excited to see JFF in Pittsburgh and to continue to serve the organization as the Pittsburgh Advisory Committee chair.

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