Scott grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and made Atlanta his home in 2012. He joined AT&T a few months after college and spent the following 11 years working across multiple organizations. Currently, Scott works in project management at Cox Communications. He holds an undergraduate degree from Ohio University and an MBA from Kennesaw State University. He met his wife Sarah at work in 2014 and they got married in 2016. They are blessed with two children: Oliver (February 2019) and Rosemary (September 2020).
Soon after their wedding, Sarah and Scott discovered they had about a 5% chance of conceiving. In 2017, it seemed that every month they would get another call from the doctor sharing another complication preventing them from having a child. They tried a round of IVF but did not have any viable embryos. They eventually decided to use an egg donor, and luckily it only took one transfer to get pregnant! Going through this experience (during their first year of marriage no less) was complex, emotionally and financially taxing, and at times they most certainly wanted to give up. In discovering they weren’t alone and learning more about the world of infertility, it was a relief in some ways to discover that what they were going through was more common than they thought.
Looking back, had they engaged a foundation like JFF earlier on where they could interact with similar people, have conversations about how they felt and learned earlier in the process, Scott thinks they would have been better prepared to go through the emotional ups and downs. His desire to join JFF is driven primarily by the desire to help others know they aren’t alone in this process: it is scary, confusing and discouraging at times, but those are normal reactions and there is help out there. Additionally, knowing the financial sacrifices people make to have a baby has compelled him even more. While the infertility journey will always be difficult, Scott wants to help people based on what he has learned through his own experience, and the JFF is a great way to accomplish this goal.
Debbie is a commercial Interior Designer working on a wide variety of project types: corporate, retail, restaurant and medical, as well as residential kitchen and bath renovations. Her clients include non-profits such as the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Jewish Family and Career Services, Jewish schools and synagogues. One of her most meaningful projects was the design of the new women’s mikvah on the Congregation Beth Tefillah campus, as her commitment to this mitzvah includes years of volunteering as a mikvah attendant. Other community service positions include the board of her professional organization, and leadership roles at her synagogue and childrens’ schools.
Holding degrees in Psychology, Art, and Architectural Interior Design, Debbie possesses creative, analytical and empathetic skills. She has contributed blog posts and articles to Bechol Lashon (an organization for Jewish children of various ethnic backgrounds) and Nishei magazine (a Jewish women’s publication), and has excellent communication skills. In addition, she has produced a series of essays chronicling her journey through the worlds of fertility treatment and adoption. In addition to her career in design, Debbie has worked for a political consulting firm and as an aide to a New York City Councilman, researching issues and preparing press releases, and with a Georgia State University professor to develop a website with resources for parents in Georgia. Debbie has also written an essay that is available on the website for the Eden Center in Israel.
Debbie and her husband, Barry Rabinowitz (a third generation Atlanta native) reside in Sandy Springs with their two teenage children.
My personal six year journey through fertility treatment was very difficult emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. Thank G-d, in the end I was blessed with two amazing kids through adoption. I joined JFF so that other Jewish couples wouldn't feel as isolated and lost while dealing with all the challenges of infertility, and to help create a more supportive community.
Neal has an extensive real estate law background and a growing government relations practice. A 25-year veteran of the Atlanta legal industry, his real estate practice covers the sale and leasing of, and the making of loans on, all types of commercial properties. Dodell has served as in-house counsel for life insurance companies, including MetLife and ING.
His government relations practice has so far dealt with education and foster care issues on behalf of clients.
He served on the Advisory Committee of the Georgia Literacy Commission, and continues to work for literacy improvement and education reform in our state.
Neal was a long-time member of the Jewish Community Relations Council. His work with JCRC led to the revitalization of the Cabbagetown community in downtown Atlanta, and to legal immigrants in Georgia obtaining public benefits. Before beginning his legal career, Neal worked for United Jewish Appeal in New England and for B’nai B’rith in New York City.
He is a resident of Roswell and has been married to his wife, Roslyn, a trust and estates lawyer, for 35 years. They have two daughters.
Neal’s reason for involvement in Jewish Fertility Foundation stems from a desire to give back to, and to help grow, the Jewish community, arising in part from his own family’s fertility struggles. His legal background can hopefully bring value to the JFF’s procedures, its future growth and the populations it serves.
He is particularly proud to be a part of an organization that makes needed services relating to all aspects of infertility accessible to the Jewish community and beyond.
Elisheva was born and raised in sunny Southern California. She attended Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and graduated with a double Bachelor's degree. After graduating, she migrated south to Atlanta to be closer to family. For two years, she worked in the Event Management industry in the medical sector and then worked as the General Manager for a Kosher catering company for four years. She now works part time for a law firm specializing in fertility and surrogacy.
Having a family was always top priority but after suffering from their own fertility issues, Elisheva and her husband Elie had to undergo multiple IUI and IVF cycles. They have been blessed with three beautiful children through IVF. Elisheva is very passionate about helping others undergoing fertility struggles having experienced the hardship herself. She has provided one-on-one support to couples in the same situation and is excited to be on the JFF Board to be able to impact others and help bring babies into their lives.
Carrie Hearshen was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. She was always deeply involved in her Jewish community be it through her day school, her synagogue or through her youth group. She met her husband, Rabbi Josh Hearshen, through the Hillel House at Michigan State University when they were just 18. After graduating Carrie moved to Los Angeles where she earned an MAEd in Jewish education from the University of Judaism. Carrie has been working in Jewish education ever since her graduation. She has worked in educating our Jewish youth at all levels and continues to do so today as a teacher at the Atlanta Jewish Academy. She and her husband are the parents to Ayelet, age 12, and Galit, age 1.
Carrie is passionate about the work of JFF because of her experiences in fighting to become a parent and build her family. When the Hearshens began trying to conceive, they were told by doctors that they would not be able to become parents naturally and that they would need to use other means to have children. Their first daughter was born on their first IVF attempt. Ayelet, was the only embryo to have ever survived and through all of their cycles and attempts they began to lose hope. In early 2020 they received a call from their adoption agency that a baby was available for them and the next night they brought Galit home from the hospital and have now completed their family. Carrie feels strongly that they don’t want any person to suffer alone with infertility. She finds the financial wall that stands in the way of too many people to be immoral and unjust. Carrie wishes that there had been a JFF and a community that could’ve helped her and her husband when they were struggling and she is delighted and honored to be there to help in its mission moving forward.
Quinton (“Quinn”) Katler received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Art History from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He then received his Master of Biomedical Sciences in Miami, Florida, followed by his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel. Quinn then completed his Ob/Gyn residency at The George Washington University in Washington D.C, where he also collaborated with the NIH REI faculty for several research projects that focused on disparities in access to fertility care. He is currently pursuing his fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Emory University. Dr. Katler’s clinical interests include LGBTQI family-building, third-party reproduction, improving access to assisted reproductive technology, and implementing evidence-based fertility care. He is fluent in English and medical Spanish, and conversational Hebrew. A native of South Florida (but a very happy Atlanta transplant!), Quinn’s interests outside of clinical medicine include practicing yoga, nature hikes, tennis, and connecting with family and friends. Dr. Katler is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.
Quinn’s passion as a “budding” REI is to help build families - particularly within the Atlanta Jewish community. He believes that there is a lot of work that can be accomplished on a local level, in discussing infertility and reaching out to members of our Jewish community who may be in need of fertility assistance, whether through emotional, financial, or educational support.
Quinn’s passion as a budding REI is to help build families - particularly within the Atlanta Jewish community. He believes that there is a lot of work that can be accomplished on a local level through JFF, in both discussing infertility and reaching out to members of our Jewish community who may be in need of fertility assistance, whether it is through emotional, financial, or educational support.
Dr. Quinton Katler
Lisa was born and raised just south of Nashville, TN. After spending a life-changing year on Young Judaea’s Year Course in Israel, she knew Judaism and Israel would be part of her life forever. She received her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from the University of South Carolina, her MBA from the University of Georgia, and her Masters in Jewish Communal Service from Gratz College. After almost a decade as a nonprofit fundraiser, Lisa recently transitioned to IT Recruiting. When she’s not volunteering or working, Lisa enjoys traveling, reading fiction, and binge-watching The West Wing on repeat.
Volunteering with JFF makes me feel like I'm continuing my grandfather's legacy. He was a fertility specialist from the 1950s until his death in the 70s and was the founder and leader of many international sterility and fertility societies.
Melissa is a marketing, public relations and event professional with over 25 years of experience helping Jewish nonprofits with their events, strategy and messages. She has had her own business and has been actively involved in the Atlanta community since she moved from Boston in 1992. Most recently she was the Events and Public Relations Manager for Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and prior to that was Events and Public Relations Manager for the Amit Program. She has served on many committees and boards such as at the MJCCA, JFCS, NCJW, Creating Connected Communities and started and chaired the North Metro Committee, a major effort in Atlanta to bring programming and services to the Jewish community in North Metro. She has her own successful event planning business and has worked on major events with Hillels of Georgia, The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and others. Melissa also volunteers weekly at The JF&CS Food Pantry.
Melissa lives in Johns Creek with her awesome husband and three almost grown children who have also been volunteering since they could walk!
Melissa is excited to volunteer with JFF so that she can bring my professional skills, along with my own personal infertility journey to the table in order to help others. She has watched JFF since the day the organization started and has admired from afar the important work that JFF does. Now that she is not overwhelmed with two full-time jobs, she has more time to get back to board work and she looks forward to helping to make a difference where needed.
Rabbi Samantha (Sam) Trief has been a Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Atlanta since July 2016 and was ordained as a rabbi from the HUC-JIR New York Campus. During her studies, she completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education, at Maine Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital. Originally from New York, Sam has loved becoming a part of the Atlanta Jewish Community. She serves as a member of the Board of the FIDF Southeast Region and is a recent graduate of LEAD, Leadership Atlanta’s program for emerging professionals. Rabbi Trief is married to Rabbi Natan Trief; they have a two year old soon, Rafi Trief. And they love their Labradoodle, Huckleberry, too.
Sam is honored to join JFF in order to connect with others, and bring a Jewish Communal perspective to this essential organization. Sam feels called to support others on their journeys and to be able to help in any way that she can. Sam truly believes in the power of Jewish community to help guide us on our paths and help us get to the other side of personal struggles. Being part of JFF enables Sam to share this important mission with anyone who is in need of support and comfort.
Rabbi Sam Trief