OUR STORY

Our Story

“My story isn’t unique. But I was lucky. I got pregnant via IVF twice in two years and I thank the universe every day. But for others it takes years, losses, and lots of tears and heartache before babies are made, if at all. And with the costs of IVF ranging from $15,000 – $25,000 in the United States, many don’t even have a chance for a chance. So I’ve turned my useless guilt into helpful actions by starting the Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF). We provide financial assistance, educational awareness, and emotional support to Jewish families who have medical fertility challenges in the communities we serve. As a woman struggling with infertility, I know what it’s like to cry alone. But YOU are no longer alone. JFF is here for you.”

-Elana Frank, CEO & Founder of Jewish Fertility Foundation

JFF STAFF

Elana Frank

CEO & Founder of JFF

Elana (Bekerman) Frank, a native of Atlanta, GA, lived, studied, and worked in Maryland, Manhattan, Israel, and New Jersey. She has 20 years of experience working with non-profits (in America and in Israel) in fundraising, marketing, community outreach, volunteer recruitment, Board development and program development.

Elana "birthed" The Jewish Fertility Foundation. It took her ten years and countless rounds of IUI and IVF cycles and embryo donation to make three babies. Because she was a resident of Israel at that time of her first two children, their socialized medicine afforded her the opportunity to inexpensively reach a solution. When she returned to the US, she realized that others weren’t as lucky as her - in terms of treatment success, community support, and financial aid. She learned for others it takes years, miscarriages, unbearable debt, oceans of tears, and heartache before finally giving birth, if at all. And with the cost of IVF ranging on average from $14,000 - $25,000 in America many don’t even have a chance for a chance. Knowing that there was this grave need for funding, support and enhanced awareness of this sometimes “unspoken” issue in the Jewish community, she decided to create Jewish Fertility Foundation.

Emily Zaghi

JFF Director of Operations

Emily joined JFF after serving a variety of roles within the nonprofit sector. Her experience includes finance, accounting, development, programming, and operations. Immediately before joining JFF, Emily worked as a CPA at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Asset Management sector.

Emily first heard about JFF several years ago and was immediately inspired by the incredible organization and the many families whose lives it has changed. Several of her siblings and close friends have struggled with fertility challenges and she has experienced through them the emotional and financial strain this can cause.

Emily was thrilled to use her skills to transition back into the nonprofit space and contribute to JFF as the first Director of JFF-Atlanta and now, the National Program Director. Emily currently lives in Great Neck, NY with her husband, Moshe, and daughters Aura & Yaelle.

Shari Seiner

JFF Director of Development

Shari Carmen Seiner joined the Jewish Fertility Foundation excited to bridge her personal experience as a veteran of infertility with her professional experience as a seasoned development professional. She is passionate about serving Jewish organizations that are near and dear to her heart.

Shari’s most recent role prior to joining JFF was with American Friends of Tel Aviv University as the Florida Development Liaison. In the past, her professional roles included serving as Development Director at Hochberg Preparatory, a Jewish Day School in Miami, and, as the North Dade Director at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

She earned her MA in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, her BA from Tulane University and she completed graduate studies at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

She and her husband Daniel met at The Hebrew University and together they have 4 incredible miracle children who are almost all adults. They have called South Florida home for the past 19 years.

Emma Wimberley

JFF Development Associate

Emma graduated in May 2020 from Georgia State University’s master of Social Work program. She graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in Human Development & Family Studies in 2018, and has lived in Atlanta ever since. During her last year at Georgia State, she was a social work intern for JFF and then stayed on as a program support for a few months following graduation.

Emma is passionate about working with families, and is very excited to be back at JFF as a Development Associate. Additionally, she works for a transitional housing program in Atlanta as a case manager.

Kayla Heering

JFF Atlanta Manager

Kayla was born and raised in Atlanta and moved away to attend college at the University of Maryland. After earning her undergraduate degree, Kayla lived in Washington, DC for six years where she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from George Washington University and began her career as a physical therapist. Through her clinical experience and own pregnancy journey with her twins, Kayla gained an awareness of the many gaps in the healthcare and support systems for women from pre-pregnancy to post-partum.

Kayla was thrilled to move back to Atlanta in the summer of 2020. She is passionate about helping men & women in all stages of their fertility journey, and is excited to do so for the Atlanta community as JFF’s Atlanta Manager.

Julie Cohen

JFF Birmingham Manager

Julie grew up outside of Chicago and fell in love with living in the South when she moved to Nashville to attend college at Vanderbilt University. She studied Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology and has worked as a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in clinical and school settings since 2010. Julie moved to Birmingham in 2014 and immediately became active in the vibrant Jewish community there. After experiencing years of infertility to grow her family, helping others going through this unimaginably difficult journey became her passion. She doesn't want anyone experiencing infertility to feel alone and loves providing guidance in any way she can.

Julie is very excited to help Jewish Fertility Foundation expand to Birmingham through a collaboration with Collat Jewish Family Services (CJFS) She is looking forward to providing resources and support to those going through infertility in the Birmingham community.

Jennifer Clark

JFF Cincinnati Manager

Jennifer Clark was raised in Cleveland, Ohio but has called Cincinnati her home for the past 32 years. Jennifer has been married to her husband Patrick for 27 years andt they have 2 grown children who are now 22 and 24. She has worked in the Jewish Community for the past 18 years most recently as the Chaverim M'Israel Supervisor at Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. She serves as an educator at Shelanu, taught Art and Cooking at Rockdale Temple, and has been involved in Israel education throughout the CIncinnati area.

Jennifer is thrilled to work with JFF because she understands the pain of not being able to conceive and then the joy of having 2 beautiful Children. She believes in the strength of community and is excited to be a part of JFF.

Meredith Levy

JFF Pittsburgh Manager

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.

She 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.

Lucie Kahn

JFF Tampa Manager

Lucie Kahn grew up outside of Boston before making her way to New Jersey and landing in sunny Tampa, FL. Lucie has a Masters in Science and is a Certified Child Life Specialist. She has previously worked to help hospitalized children and their families navigate the unknowns and scary moments of the healthcare world. While experiencing her own infertility journey, Lucie walked away from Child life to serve as a program director for various children and family based organizations. She has a passion for working with people of all ages and abilities and loves to be a smiling face in their day.

Lucie has a wonderful husband and two little girls named Charlotte and Malia.

Lucie is thrilled to be a part of JFF Tampa after moving to the area last year. She is looking forward to expanding JFF programing while diving deep into the community and getting to know all of its wonderful people. Lucie noted how honored she feels to be a part of this deeply personal time in families lives. She looks forward to helping the Tampa community understand their fertility options and feel an outpouring of support.

Anna Meyers Burke

JFF Rabbinic Fellow

Anna Meyers Burke is a proud New Englander at heart, having been born and raised in Rhode Island and studied at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where she continued to live post-graduation to serve Northeastern Hillel as the Director of Jewish Student Life. With her passion for Israel and Jewish education, Anna went on to teach English in Ashdod and remained in Israel to complete her first year of Rabbinical School at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem. She has since continued her rabbinic studies in Cincinnati, where she has enjoyed serving as an educator at Kulanu, the Madrichim Coordinator at Rockdale Temple, Rabbinic Educator at Hillel at Miami University, and TJF Fellow at RAC-OH. While completing her rabbinic studies, Anna is also finishing her M.A. in Jewish Education and is so thrilled to be a part of the team at the Jewish Fertility Foundation in Cincinnati to help support those struggling with infertility and provide educational resources for the community.

Crystal Crawford

JFF Graduate School Social Work Intern

Crystal is a MSW graduate student at Georgia State University, pursuing her master's in social work, focusing on empowering and advocating for the disenfranchised and underserved population in her community. She is passionate about protecting, investing in, and empowering others. She believes in her purpose of advocating for equality and resources for individuals who need support and increasing awareness of the stigma facing those who have been through traumatic events in their lives dismissed by society. She is also excited about working with individuals with mental health diagnoses through psychoeducation, individual counseling, support groups, and case management services to enhance their quality of life.

Emily Robertson

JFF Masters of Social Work Intern

Emily is a current MSW student at Kennesaw State University. She has experience in clinical practice through internships, and has a strong background in working with disabled children. She has always had a passion for newborns, infants, and children. This led her to Kennesaw State University where she earned her undergraduate degree in Human Services with a minor in child advocacy. Emily decided to stay at KSU for the full-time program with a focus on clinical social work. In the future, she hopes to become an Adoption Social Worker or a Care Coordinator in the NICU. She is thrilled to be here at JFF to help serve families experiencing infertility.

Ashley Marx

JFF Lead Social Worker

Ashley Marx is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience. During her training, she worked in a halfway house for men struggling with alcohol and drug addiction and an outpatient clinic treating children, teens, and adults. After receiving her Masters in Social Work from Salem State College in Massachusetts in 2003, she continued to work in an outpatient clinic and a private school as a school counselor. She started a private practice specializing in working with teens and young adults.

After 10 years of private practice in Massachusetts, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she worked as a school counselor and now has a full time private practice. She treats a wide range of issues including: anxiety, depression, ADHD, self esteem, parenting problems, and addiction. In addition to seeing clients individually and working with parents, she also runs Middle School and High School Girls groups for teens that may be struggling with friendships, family, and/or the overall stress of being an adolescent in a fast paced, online world.

She has received training in various approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) but strongly believes that the therapist/client relationship remains the most important aspect of treatment.

Sarah Norris

JFF Social Work Consultant

Sarah is an MSW student at Georgia State University. She has always had a passion for serving those with medical challenges. This passion led her to the University of Kentucky, where she graduated with an Interior Design degree and began a career designing rehabilitation hospitals. Last year she moved back to Atlanta to pursue a career in social work with the hopes of walking closely alongside those who are going through a difficult life event. She is excited to serve the families of JFF and be a part of this amazing organization.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Judith Daar

Judith Daar is the Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Dean and Professor of Law at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. Since assuming the deanship in July 2019, Dean Daar has helped establish the Center on Addiction Law & Policy and steward the largest gift made to the law school in its 125-plus year history. Dean Daar was formerly a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law and a Clinical Professor at the University of California Irvine, School of Medicine. Her academic career in the health law field focuses on emerging technologies in family formation. For six years beginning in November 2014, Dean Daar served as Chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the largest reproductive medicine organization in the world. From 2002 to 2019, Dean Daar was a member of Medical Ethics Committee at UCI Medical Center. She was elected president of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics from 2009-11, where she also sat on the Board of Directors from 2006-2012. In 2012, Dean Daar was elected to the American Law Institute.

Dean Daar’s law school teaching includes courses in Property, Wills & Trusts, Health Law, Bioethics and Reproductive Technologies and the Law. In 2006, Dean Daar published the first and to date only casebook in the field of assisted reproductive technologies, Reproductive Technologies and the Law (LexisNexis 2006). A second edition was published in 2013 and a third edition adding three co-authors will be published in 2022 by Carolina Academic Press. Dean Daar’s other book, The New Eugenics: Selective Breeding in an Era of Reproductive Technologies, was published in 2017 by Yale University Press.

Dean Daar has spoken extensively on legal, medical and ethical issues in reproductive medicine, including giving testimony to the National Academies of Science and the California legislature. Her scholarly work includes over 100 book chapters, articles, white papers and editorials on a range of topics including germline genome editing, prenatal genetic testing, human reproductive cloning, regulation of reproductive technologies and malfeasance in the provision of assisted conception services. She is the recipient of three outstanding teaching awards, including the Jay Healey Distinguished Health Law Teacher of the Year awarded in 2015. In October 2013, she was awarded the Suheil J. Muasher, M.D. Distinguished Service Award by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Her current volunteer service includes roles with Cincinnati Dress for Success, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, Kentucky Bar Foundation and St. Elizabeth Medical Center Medical Ethics Committee.

WHY JFF?

I’m excited to join the JFF Board to add value to its vital mission to support family formation for those whose pathway to parenthood involves medical assistance. Advancing access to reproductive technologies has been at the root of my advocacy for many years and I’m honored to now have the opportunity to impact lives and legacies through work with this outstanding organization.

Ronald Goldman

Ronnie Goldman is a Managing Partner at Croft & Bender. Prior to joining Croft & Bender, he worked in the Corporate Finance Department at The Robinson-Humphrey Company, Inc., one of the largest regional investment banking firms in the country at the time. With over 25 years of investment banking and private equity experience, Ronnie has completed numerous transactions for both private and public companies across a wide range of industries. Currently, his investment banking practice is focused on providing merger & acquisition and private capital advisory services to middle-market and emerging growth companies, with particular expertise in healthcare, business services and technology.

Ronnie received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Management, magna cum laude, from Tulane University.

Why JFF?

I firmly believe in supporting the growth of the Jewish community and what better way than providing financial, emotional and educational support to Jewish parents with medical infertility.

Maynard Grossman

Maynard Grossman has been affiliated with Shalom Memorial Park and Shalom Memorial Funeral Home for over 35 years, and has served in the capacity of Executive Director for over 25 years. In leadership roles in his industry he has served as a member and Past President of the Illinois Cemetery and Funeral Association.

He has served as chairman for the Village of Deerfield, Illinois Cemetery Council. Mr. Grossman is an active member of the Chicago Jewish community. He is a past member of the Board of Jewish Education. He is also Past President of Moriah Congregation, a conservative synagogue located in Deerfield, Illinois, a Trustee and Past President of the Board of Directors of the Solomon Schechter Day Schools of Metropolitan Chicago.. He is also a Past President and founding board member of the Chicagoland Jewish High School, now known today as Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. Mr. Grossman lives in Deerfield, Illinois with his wife Janet and has a residency in Atlanta where he visits his grandchildren often.

WHY JFF?

Children are regarded as the hope of the future in every society. We are taught this strong concept in Judaism when we learn that “our children will be our guarantors”. I suppose that is why I have spent many hours of volunteering with Jewish Education. I started to witness children of friends, their sadness, pain and frustration as they experienced difficulties in trying to start their families and how soft spoken and sympathetic words would not ease their pain or sadness.

When I learned about the Jewish Fertility Foundation from the Engler Family, and the many families that needed assistance on their individual journey to building a Jewish home, I felt an overwhelming desire to try and help these individuals as they try to either start or extend their family. When asked to give a toast at a Jewish wedding, I always express my excitement that we have another Jewish Home starting. My hope that the work that JFF does that toast and that dream can come true for all couples that desire it.

Sheri Labovitz

Sheri is a retired attorney and former partner at Alston & Bird and Minkin & Snyder (now Greenberg Traurig), specializing for over 30 years in commercial real estate. At Alston and Bird, Sheri pioneered the reduced hour partner track. A former President of AJC Atlanta and AJC Board of Governors member, she served as interim executive director of AJC’s Atlanta regional office, and, together with her husband Steve, received the 2013 Selig Distinguished Service Award and chaired the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival for three consecutive years. Sheri also served as Board Chair of the dropout prevention program Communities in Schools of Atlanta and chair of Temple Sinai’s Endowment Committee. She served as a Deputy Finance Director for U.S. senatorial candidate Michelle Nunn, and as Treasurer for U.S. senatorial candidate Teresa Tomlinson. Sheri is the Immediate Past President of a growing local food rescue organization called Second Helpings Atlanta, which collects excess perishable food from grocers, corporate kitchens, and large event facilities and delivers it to partner agencies that serve the hungry daily. Sheri was a member of the 1998 Class of Leadership Atlanta. She received her J.D. from Duke University and her B.A. from Kirkland (now Hamilton) College. Sheri and Steve’s son, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters live in Atlanta, and their daughter, son-in-law, and a bevy of animals live on a farm in Clermont, GA.

Why JFF?

It starts with Elana, an inspiring leader and my mentee through the Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta. We were paired because of my experience scaling a nonprofit. Ironically, JFF’s mission connected to my own infertility story which began 38 years ago. There was very little in the way of emotional support or peer education on the subject back then. Communities today are very lucky to have the services afforded by JFF and I’m excited to help JFF expand its reach.

Rachel Loftspring

Rachel Loftspring is a Partner at Essig & Evans, LLP, where she practices Fertility Law exclusively. As a Fertility Law attorney, Rachel counsels clients from the United States and around the world on family-building through surrogacy as well as egg, sperm, and embryo donation. Her clients are intended parents and gestational carriers, recipients and donors, married and single, and of all sexual orientations.

Rachel is a Fellow of the prestigious Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the American Bar Association's Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee. Rachel posts about Fertility Law on Instagram at @FertilityLawAttorney.

Rachel received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and earned her BA from Emory University, where she graduated magna cum laude and as an alumna served as President of the Emory College Alumni Board. Between college and law school, Rachel earned her culinary arts degree from Mausi Sebess in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship awarded to her by the Buckhead Rotary Club.

Outside of her legal practice, Rachel is an active participant and advocate in her community. She is on the board of the American Jewish Committee Cincinnati, Chair of the Jewish Fertility Foundation - Cincinnati, and regularly organizes and hosts events for an array of organizations and causes. Rachel and her husband, a cardiologist, live in Cincinnati, Ohio with their 4 year old Lady Gaga loving daughter and airplanes obsessed 2 year old son. In her spare time, Rachel is teaching her kids (and herself) how to grow a vegetable garden and is working on her Peloton groupie status.

WHY JFF?

In her Fertility Law practice, Rachel provides legal counsel for clients experiencing infertility who are building their families through third party reproduction. But Rachel felt a need to do more. When she learned of Jewish Fertility Foundation and its incredible work in Atlanta, she immediately thought the Cincinnati community would benefit from having Jewish Fertility Foundation in Cincinnati.

Stephen Royal

Steve Royal was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and studied at the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, where he received his AA, BSBA, and MBA in Hospital Administration. He began his career as a hospital Administrator in University affilated and academic medical centers. He later advanced to Division Operating Officer, Market President, and President of HCA’s East Florida Division. In 2008, Steve became the SVP & Chief Development Office at Encompass Health in Birmingham, Alabama.

Steve has extensive volunteer experience, including serving as the Board President of Temple Emanu-El, a Board Member at the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, a Board Member at the Birmingham Holocaust Education, and Collat Jewish Family Services. He is married to Lana Silverman, and together they have two sons, Russin (Jill Ceitlin) and Asher (Julie Corenblum) and four wonderful grandchildren.

WHY JFF?

Steve’s professional interest in IVF began in 1986 at Lutheran General Hospital when Dr. Charles Miller, a Reproductive Endocrinologist and the Founder and Medical Director of the Advanced IVF Institute, expressed an interest in his hospital starting an IVF Program. Over multiple exploratory conversations we formalized a strategic partnership with the Eastern Virginia Medical School Jones Institute for Reproductive Endocrinology, Steve never could have imagined that 30 years later, his daughter-in-law would become a patient of Dr. Miller. Steve feels blessed that through fertility treatment, his son and daughter-in-law were able to give birth to two children, a handsome 4y/o grandson and a beautiful 2 y/o granddaughter.

Amy Nadler

Amy is an Atlanta native who went as far away as Athens for college. She dismissed her very wise dad’s suggestion that she major in accounting and instead got a B.A. degree in economics. After a couple of different jobs out of college, she decided that she should try a job in accounting. She loved accounting so much (yes, dad was right) that she went on to get a Master of Taxation at Georgia State University. She has been a tax professional in the Atlanta area for 18 years and currently is a Partner at Levy Tax & Consulting LLC. Amy works mostly with individuals and small businesses but also has experience with trusts, estates, and nonprofit organizations. She enjoys working in an area that some people find overwhelming and trying to make it an easy process for them.

Amy and her husband, Doug, have two children, Aiden and Hannah. Aiden was born in 2009 at 24 weeks gestation, weighing a pound and a half, and spent 18 weeks in the NICUs at Northside Hospital and Scottish Rite. Although it was a very difficult experience, it has given Amy and Doug a life perspective that they likely would not otherwise have and for which they are grateful. Amy and her husband organize a support group for parents with children on the autism spectrum. The group’s members especially strive to guide families with a recent diagnosis.

WHY JFF?

Amy is very excited about the opportunity to work with JFF in a capacity that can combine her financial background with her passion for helping people and families.

Gabby Sirner-Cohen

Gabby Sirner-Cohen- Gabby’s an HR leader passionate about creating great work environments, scaling culture and finding, growing, and keeping talented people. Many of Gabby’s philosophies were shaped by her time at Google, where she focused on building a culture of openness, autonomy, and transparency. She's used that experience to help organizations big and small build thriving cultures. Currently, Gabby is the SVP of People & Places for FullStory, where she has led its growth from 50 to 500 employees.

Gabby has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business. She lives in the ATL with her husband Morris and sons Lev (7) and Aiden (4).

WHY JFF?

Our daughter, Maya, died as an infant, long before she could make an impact on this world. One of the ways my husband and I choose to honor her life is by doing and supporting important work in her name. Through JFF, we hope to bring comfort to those who are grieving during their fertility journey and to celebrate the new families formed.

Naomi Korb Weiss

Naomi Korb Weiss is a Senior Consultant at TCC Group, a national social sector consulting firm. She brings over 14 years of experience in nonprofit management and executive leadership with expertise in strategic planning, program design, operations, and training and professional development. Since beginning at TCC Group, she has worked with a range of clients including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Jewish Education Project, Honeymoon Israel, the Jewish Funders Network, Bard Prison Initiative, the Danville Regional Foundation, and The Actors Fund.

Naomi is a frequent speaker, facilitator and consultant to organizations and entrepreneurs across the country. Before joining TCC, she was CEO of the PresenTense Group – an international nonprofit focused on training and mentoring Jewish social entrepreneurs – where she led the organization through a period of strategic growth over five years, expanding its reach into new markets and new products to meet evolving customer demand. Naomi managed and developed PresenTense’s Design Thinking curriculum and built a Train-the-Trainer model to scale its reach.

Previously Naomi worked in experiential education, managing training and leadership development at the Foundation for Jewish Camp and JEXNET, and serving as Special Assistant to the President at Hillel’s International Center.

Naomi earned her MBA in Strategy and MPA in Nonprofit Management from NYU’s Stern School of Business and Wagner School of Public Service, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Naomi also holds a B.S. in Marketing and Rhetoric from the University of Maryland. She is a graduate of Babson College’s Symposium on Entrepreneurship Education and of Advanced Education’s Transformational Leadership Program.

WHY JFF?

Jewish family is at the core of Jewish community life. Increasingly, Jewish families are looking more and more diverse, and for many - having biological children easily is not a given. For my husband and me, it has taken a 6-year journey and many many procedures and injections to bring two beautiful children into the world. Infertility can be incredibly isolating and even bring about feelings of shame; support and community help to counter those challenging realities. The Jewish Fertility Foundation takes a strategic, community-based approach to supporting individuals financially and emotionally, and I would be honored to help it grow its incredible impact! I believe my experience and connections running a Jewish organization and partnering with countless agencies and philanthropists would be an asset to JFF.

MEDICAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

Pavna K. Brahma, MD, FACOG

Pavna K. Brahma, M.D., FACOG, is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist. She earned her medical degree and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Brahma completed her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Emory University. During fellowship, her research in reproductive immunology was awarded a Prize Paper award at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) national meeting. Her fellowship thesis on the regulation of inflammation in adipose tissue was awarded the Basic Science Research award by Emory’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Brahma has practiced in Atlanta for over 10 years and has experience in assisted reproductive technologies and advanced reproductive procedures. Her clinical interests include optimizing outcomes in patients with diminished ovarian reserve, advances in vitro fertilization, recurrent pregnancy loss, fertility preservation, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Dr. Brahma has produced several publications and research presentations in the fields of endocrinology, infertility, and reproductive immunology.

She is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Brahma is passionate about advancements in women’s health, and she is an appointed member of the Women in Healthcare Board of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation. Dr. Brahma’s most precious professional accomplishments are the awards she has received for patient care. She is married to Barun Brahma, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and they have two children. She enjoys international travel, yoga and flower arranging in her free time.

Jeremy M. Groll, MD

Dr. Groll is currently the Managing Partner at SpringCreek Fertility. He has served as Medical Director at Kettering Reproductive Medicine, Chief Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at 88th Surgical Operations Squadron at Wright-Patterson AFB, in Ohio and was an Assistant Professor at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton Ohio.

He is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a Fellow with the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and was an editorial reviewer for Fertility and Sterility.

Dr. Groll has been published in several medical journals including the Fertility and Sterility, ASRM Journal and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. He has given presentations for the Society for Gynecologic Investigations, ASRM, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Endocrine Society.

When not working he enjoys spending time with family, fine dining, travel, barbecue, making ice cream, art, running, wrestling and Notre Dame football.

Dr. Groll's vision is to allow easy access and care for fertility patients, he is excited to extend his reach to the Jewish community.

Deidre Gunn, MD

Deidre Downs Gunn, MD, is a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist and board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center, where she is the medical director of the in vitro fertilization program.

Deidre was also Miss America 2005, and during her year of service she was a spokesperson for CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation. After completing her term as Miss America, she resumed her studies and graduated with her M.D. from the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. She also completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at UAB, where she was an administrative chief resident and the recipient of a medical student teaching award as well as the Chairman’s Award.

After residency, she stayed at UAB for her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility and then joined the faculty as an assistant professor and attending physician. She was recognized in the “Top 40 Under 40” in Birmingham in 2018 for her work as an advocate for LGBTQ patients. Her clinical interests include reproductive surgery, IVF, access to care, and mental health.

Deidre and her wife Abbott live in Homewood, Alabama with son Jack, a sixth-grader, and their daughter Ella, born in August 2021.

Quinton Katler, MD, MSc, FACOG

Quinton Katler, MD, MSc, FACOG, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) and board eligible in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). Dr. Katler received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. From there, he went on to receive his medical degree from the American Medical Program at Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel. He then completed his residency in OB/GYN at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 2019 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia for his REI Fellowship training at Emory University. During this time, he was recognized for his excellence in both clinical and laboratory research.

Dr. Katler is proud to serve as an advocate for those facing infertility. He has conducted advocacy efforts on a local level by improving access to care for Jewish couples in Atlanta, as well as on a national level through research efforts for gender/sexual and racial/ethnic minorities. Additionally, Dr. Katler is an active member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) LGBTQ Special Interest Group.

As an avid researcher, Dr. Katler has contributed to numerous publications, presentations, and committees exploring such topics as LGBTQIA+ family-building, recurrent pregnancy loss, egg freezing, and infertility care for marginalized communities, among others. He is a member of several professional organizations, including ASRM, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (SREI).

Dr. Katler provides patient care at SGF’s Atlanta – Northside location. In his spare time, Dr. Katler enjoys yoga, tennis, and going on hikes and local adventures with his husband and two dogs.

Jennifer F. Kawwass, MD

Medical Director, Emory Reproductive Center
Associate Professor, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
Clinical Director, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)
Guest Researcher, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Jennifer F. Kawwass, MD, joined the Emory Reproductive Center as an Assistant Professor in August of 2014. She is a native of Virginia Beach, VA where she was valedictorian of her graduating class at Norfolk Academy. She then went on to play Division I Field Hockey at Davidson College in Davidson, NC where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BS degree in Biology. She returned to her home state to complete medical school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where she received the Medical Alumni Association Outstanding Student Award. In 2007, she moved to Atlanta for her Ob/Gyn residency at Emory University during which time she received numerous teaching, surgical, and research awards and was elected by her faculty and peers as an Administrative Chief Resident. She chose to stay at Emory as a Fellow in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and received awards for her thesis research project, which she completed in partnership with the CDC, where she remains a Guest Researcher. Dr. Kawwass is also the recipient of a national NIH / ASRM research training grant and of grant funding from the CDC.

Dr. Kawwass chose to join the Emory faculty because she genuinely believes that the Emory Reproductive Center offers exceptional evidence-based fertility care. She is committed to individualizing and optimizing care for each of her patients. She appreciates the emotional investment that goes along with fertility treatment and is dedicated to making the journey toward parenthood as smooth as possible for them. Dr. Kawwass is particularly interested in infertility, in vitro fertilization, functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, third party reproduction, and fertility preservation (oocyte cryopreservation).

As a Guest Researcher at the CDC, Dr. Kawwass is also a member of the National ART Surveillance Team. A few of her recent contributions to the literature include publications in Obstetrics and Gynecology (tubal factor infertility and perinatal outcomes, monozygotic twinning among ART-conceived infants), Fertility and Sterility (assisted hatching trends and outcomes), and JAMA (donor oocyte trends and predictors of good perinatal outcomes, safety of ART in the US, and ICSI trends and outcomes). Her publications have received national press, including interviews by the Associated Press and USA today.

Dr. Kawwass is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is fluent in English and French, medical Spanish, and conversational Lebanese Arabic. Dr. Kawwass’ interests outside of medicine include distance running, foreign travel, and spending time at the beach. She and her husband, Peter Thompson, MD a Plastic Surgery Fellow at Emory, enjoy spending time with their two children.

Beth A. Malizia, MD

Dr. Malizia is a native of Montclair, New Jersey, and graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University where she was the recipient of the Top Female Scholar-Athlete Scholarship. Dr. Malizia received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina where she was the recipient of an NIH Research Training Grant and an International Medical Fellowship award. She subsequently completed a residency in Ob/Gyn at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005, during which time she won the Argus Medical Student Association Best Resident Teacher Award and the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Resident Achievement Award. In 2008, Dr. Malizia completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she was an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Her clinical training was at Boston IVF, one of the largest in vitro fertilization programs in the United States. The author of over 20 publications, Dr. Malizia’s research on in vitro fertilization outcomes has been published in multiple journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the nation’s premier medical journal.

Dr. Malizia has been elected to the national listing of Best Doctors and has received the B Metro award for Top Women in Medicine. Dr. Malizia has served on several local and national committees including the SART Advertising Committee and is on the board of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. Prior to her medical career, Dr. Malizia was a member of the Cornell University Lacrosse team and then worked at a large Wall Street investment bank. Dr. Malizia specializes in infertility and reproductive surgery. She welcomes patients with a range of issues including infertility, irregular periods, fibroids and pregnancy loss. She lives in Birmingham with her husband, four children and their black lab. Dr. Malizia enjoys photography and time at the lake with her family.

Bonnie Patel, MD

Dr. Bonnie Patel is a Board Certified Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at ACRM. Dr. Patel came to ACRM from Wake Forest University where she had been a practicing Reproductive Endocrinologist since 2012.

Dr. Patel completed her Fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Case Western Reserve University in 2015. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from University of Georgia in 2004, graduating summa cum laude with Highest Honors. She then completed her Medical Degree at The Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine in Augusta, GA in 2008. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine at Greenville Memorial Hospital, where she was elected by faculty and peers to serve as chief resident from 2011-2012. During residency, she was the recipient of the Thompson B. Gailey award for highest CREOG scores.

In addition to being a practicing Reproductive Endocrinologist at Wake Forest Baptist Health, Dr Patel also served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Bonnie Patel's clinical interests include oncofertility, assisted reproduction and minimally invasive surgery.

Dr. Patel is a member of American Society of Reproductive Medicine, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopists.

Dr. Bonnie Patel stated:“It is such a blessing to be able to help someone who has been struggling with infertility to finally achieve a pregnancy. I am looking forward to meeting new patients and helping them achieve their dreams of building a family.”

Shayne Plosker, MD

Shayne M. Plosker, M.D., is the Medical Director of Shady Grove Fertility of Tampa Bay and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Collaborative Faculty at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Western Ontario, where he also completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Following residency, he completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Plosker has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, book chapters, and review articles in many leading scientific journals, and has been invited to present and consult nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of multiple scientific and teaching awards as well as awards for exemplary patient care, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Star Award, News and World Report Top 10% of Doctors Nationwide, Best Doctors in America in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Tampa Magazine’s Top Infertility Physicians as chosen by his physician peers since 2017.

Prior to joining Shady Grove Fertility of Tampa Bay, Dr. Plosker was a full-time faculty at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa. While at USF, he served as Division Director of USF IVF and Reproductive Endocrinology, and Medical Director of IVF at Tampa General Hospital from 2006-2019.

Dr. Plosker is an active member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, and the Florida Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. His interests include assisted reproductive technologies, pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT), fertility preservation, and international infertility care.

Kasey Aileen Reynolds, MD

Dr. Reynolds completed her undergraduate education in microbiology and Spanish at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She subsequently completed her medical training at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine which earning research accolades.

After completing medical school, Dr. Reynolds continued her medical education at Trihealth Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program in Cincinnati, training at one of the highest-volume, highest-acuity obstetrics programs in the state of Ohio.

Subsequently, she completed a three-year subspecialty training program in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Barnes-Jewish Hospital through Washington University in St. Louis. During this fellowship program she earned multiple awards for her research, including an NIH-funded research grant, and has presented her research locally and internationally.
Dr. Reynolds is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Reynolds is the Medical Director of the Bethesda Fertility Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is actively involved in educating OB/GYN residents through the Trihealth Residency program as the
Director of Medical Education for the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology. Providing personalized care plans and tailored therapies is the main focus of Dr. Reynolds’ clinical practice. She is actively involved in reproductive clinical research, and her main areas of focus are obesity and nutrition, and their effects on fertility.

A deep understanding of infertility and the effects it has on a family guides Dr.Reynolds’ medical practice. For this reason, she is honored to participate in JFF. An inspiring program, JFF provides emotional, educational, and financial assistance to ease the burden of infertility on patients.

Dr. Reynolds lives in Cincinnati with her husband, twin son and daughter, and two mini lop bunnies.

Jessica Rubin, MD MSCI

Jessica R. Rubin, MD MSCI, returned to her hometown of Atlanta to join the RBA team of physicians in 2018. She received her B.S. degrees in Science, Technology and Society as well as Hispanic Studies at Vassar College. Dr. Rubin earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Motivated by her interest in women’s health, she completed a four-year residency at Emory University and is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her residency training reinforced her passion for helping couples with reproductive struggles.

Dr. Rubin’s primary clinical interests include fertility preservation, in vitro fertilization, polycystic ovarian syndrome, third party reproduction, and diminished ovarian reserve. Additionally, Dr. Rubin focuses on fertility preservation for women before and after cancer therapy. She is a passionate patient advocate who is dedicated to providing a high-quality, individualized approach to fertility medicine.

Michael Scheiber, MD

Dr. Scheiber graduated with distinction from Stanford University, received his MD from the University of California at San Francisco, and completed his residency in OB/GYN at the University of California at San Diego.

He completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Cincinnati and holds graduate degrees in both Public Health and Health & Medical Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Scheiber is board-certified in both OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Scheiber is Director of Reproductive Research and Co-Director of the IVF program at IRH. He is also a Volunteer Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.

In addition to performing laparoscopic laser, robotic, and pelvic reconstructive surgery, Dr. Scheiber has conducted research and has special interests in embryo development, ovarian stimulation, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Dr. Scheiber lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three daughters.

Daniel Shapiro, MD

Daniel B. Shapiro, M.D. joined Reproductive Biology Associates in 1995. A native of Miami, Florida, he graduated Magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He then went on to medical school at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and it was during this training that Dr. Shapiro first became interested in reproductive medicine by doing a research project with RBA in 1987.

Dr. Shapiro completed fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1995. Since graduating from fellowship, he has authored and/or co-authored over 50 scientific papers. He is an invited speaker on a number of topics in reproductive medicine and was recently faculty for a post-graduate course at ASRM. He is nationally and internationally known for his work with GnRH antagonists in IVF treatment and has consulted with other practices regarding the efficient use of these drugs.

With the advances made in egg freezing by RBA's lab, under Dr. Peter Nagy, Dr. Shapiro led the effort to establish a working clinical model for RBA's egg bank. Since the opening of the frozen egg bank for egg donation in 2007, Dr. Shapiro has acted as its clinical manager. Prior to this and currently, Dr. Shapiro also serves as RBA's medical director. In addition to his work in ovulation induction for IVF, Dr. Shapiro has interest in the management of PCOS, endometriosis and reproductive surgery.

Dr. Shapiro is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility. He is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and the Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists.

Dr. Shapiro is married with three children. In his spare time he enjoys water sports, skiing, Scrabble with his children, and playing bit parts in community theater.

Stephanie Smeltzer, MD

Stephanie Smeltzer, M.D., joined Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine in the summer of 2020. She completed her fellowship training at Duke University in North Carolina.

Dr. Smeltzer earned her undergraduate degree from Samford University and then received her M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. While at the University of Alabama, she received the John Di Placido Award, presented for Excellence in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Smeltzer completed her residency training at Baylor College of Medicine where she received the First Place Award for Resident Research Day from the Department of OB/GYN as well as Best Resident from the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

She specializes in medical management, surgical management, and IVF. She is excited to come to Atlanta to join ACRM due to their national reputation for success rates, the expertise of physicians, and the friendliness of the staff, and is looking forward to helping her patients realize their dreams of having a family.

Dr. Smeltzer’s interests outside of medicine include golfing and spending time with her husband and son.

Jessica Spencer, MD

Dr. Spencer is the director of the Reproductive Endocrinology Division and Fellowship in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University. She attended the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She then completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and a Masters in Clinical Research at Emory before joining the faculty in 2008. She is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Her research interests include premature ovarian insufficiency in girls and women with Classic Galactosemia, Fragile X premutation and in cancer survivors. She sees patients at the Emory Reproductive Center who need help getting pregnant or would benefit from advanced reproductive technologies including intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
Dr. Daniel Stein, Headshot

Daniel E. Stein, MD

Dr. Daniel E. Stein is the Director of RMA of New York’s Westside office and is Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology at Mount Sinai West Hospital. Dr. Stein has over 24 years of experience as a Reproductive Endocrinologist and fertility specialist and served for eight years as Medical Director of the In Vitro Fertilization program of the former Continuum Reproductive Center before joining RMA of New York in 2014. He is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. For the past several years Dr. Stein has been recognized by New York Magazine and Castle Connolly as one of New York’s “Best Doctors” as well as a “Top Doctor” by US News and World Report. He has also been included as one of the Best Doctors in America and has received multiple awards from patient advocacy groups for his years of service in the fields of reproductive medicine and fertility. Dr. Stein is recognized as a national leader in the field of reproductive medicine and is on the faculty of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He formerly served for over 15 years on the teaching faculty of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Columbia University School of Medicine. He has authored and co-authored multiple manuscripts and scientific abstracts in both national and international journals.

Dr. Stein completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia (1995), and then completed his fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School (1997). His specialties include egg freezing, infertility, in vitro fertilization, recurrent implantation failure and recurrent miscarriages.

WHY JFF?

For 25 years I have devoted myself to helping infertile women and couples of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to achieve their dreams of having a child. As a proud Jewish man, father, and physician, I know how much fellow Jews depend on one another for support during the trials and tribulations of infertility. I am here to help.

Suruchi Thakore, MD

Suruchi Thakore, MD is the Division Director for the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Cincinnati and Medical Diretor and Director of Third Party Reproduction at the UCHealth Center for Reproductive Health. She received her medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo School of Medicine in 2009 and completed her OB/GYN residency at the Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Thakore’s fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship was at University Hospitals at Case Western Reserve University. Her clinical interests include third party reproduction, fertility preservation, and reproductive endocrine disorders. Her current research is focused on social egg freezing and fertility preservation, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.