"I am so thankful to the Jewish Fertility Foundation and being a part of my journey to becoming a mother. Elana has been an open heart since the beginning. She set me up with my Fertility Buddy who is seriously the most incredible and amazing woman I have ever encountered. I was hesitant about the single mom experience, but my Fertility Buddy knew what to say, how to hold my hand and support me wonderfully. Now, she has become one of my closest and dearest friends. I’m so grateful to have had JFF to link me to another Jewish, single mom by choice to share all of my trials and tribulations. Truly having a village is what it’s all about. Now I get to watch life through the eyes of this loving, giggly, smiley little one."
-Single Mom by Choice
"When we were having trouble conceiving, we were amazed to learn that an organization like JFF even exists. That our community wants to help fellow Jews build a family attests to not just our people’s focus on the next generation, but to the communal spirit and generosity of the Atlanta Jewish community in particular. We are so thankful to live in this community. Elana and JFF, moreover, conceive (pun intended) of their mission in the broadest sense, recognizing that when a couple struggles to have a child, the challenge is on so many fronts—physical, material, emotional, and spiritual. We have been blessed with not just financial but moral support through JFF and the greater Atlanta Jewish community, who have helped bring us, B”H, to the happy day of welcoming baby Shmuel into the world late this spring."
-Rebecca & Matthew S.
"Sarah and I learned about JFF in the middle of our fertility challenges. Having kids was something we both wanted, but neither of us ever dreamed it could or would be so difficult. People are naturally anxious in unfamiliar situations but add on the emotional layer of the desire to have children and the infertility journey becomes a scary and isolating one. For us, JFF provided a much-needed sense of control – after meeting and talking with people in similar situations, we suddenly didn’t feel so alone. We no longer felt like we were the only ones who really wanted kids but couldn’t, through no fault of our own, have them. The buddy program provided a perspective from people just like us who had been through the same emotional rollercoasters and come out the other side. Looking back, the buddy program was an amazing resource that came to us at a time in our lives where honestly we had begun to lose hope.
I grew up in a Jewish household, but lost touch with the Jewish community after leaving for college. My wife is an Episcopalian and experienced the same after school. Since being together, we have often discussed the type of community in which we wish our children to be raised. JFF is a wonderful example of that type of community. It’s not only provided us with emotional and educational fertility support, but it’s provided us a positive experience within the Jewish community, a community I’ve felt disconnected from for many years. In the end, our road was more difficult than most but not as difficult as some. We still have challenges today, but they are much different. We spend our days raising our now 5-month old son, Oliver, and asking ourselves questions like “Why is he still not sleeping through the night at this point?” or “Are you sure that poop is normal?” While this season is challenging in a different way, it is the best kind of challenging. Looking back over the last 3 years when starting down this path, I simply can’t imagine being here today without the support and community JFF has provided us."
-Sarah Ashton & Scott Anklowitz
"When we discovered that we had infertility issues, it was truly devastating. We never imagined that we would have complications having children. We already had many ideas and plans for how we would raise our children and had such high hopes. We thought we could fix the problem by changing our lifestyle, diet, exercise routine, etc. Although all those changes were positive for our lives, it did not bring us children. As time passed, we accepted that we needed professional assistance from an infertility specialist. We held out hope that a IUI or two would do the trick, but unfortunately, they did not bear fruit. We realized that we may need to take it to the next step with an IVF, which was financially challenging for us.
We were lucky to find a JFF flyer in a coffee shop and made the call. We were received warmly by Elana and company and we did not feel alone anymore. JFF provided us with a generous grant and a wealth of resources and support. JFF gave us renewed hope and confidence that we will achieve our hopes to have a family. We are forever in their debt. We are looking forward to being a JFF success story in the near future."
-Yael & Brian Tranter
"Marc and I could not be more thrilled to announce the birth of our daughter! Please welcome to the world, Nora Eliana Epstein! Due to Preeclampsia, she has joined us 3 weeks early. Born on 7/8/19 weighing 7lb 3oz. 3 years ago when we started our journey to have a family, we learned that we would have a major obstacle with infertility. It was a long and difficult journey with many ups and downs. It was not an easy road having gone through 5 fertility treatments and 5 IVF cycles. 3 of those being an embryo transfer with the first two transfers as unsuccessful.
As hard as everything was, Marc and I never wanted to give up. Even through all of the medicine, shots and doctors appointments, I wanted nothing more than to be the mom I was meant to be. We could not have done this without the love and support of our family, friends, and the Jewish Fertility Foundation. Thank you to the doctors and nurses at ACRM for making what we felt was impossible, possible.We wanted to share this with everyone because it is not an easy thing to talk about. For those that are experiencing this, we hope that by sharing this, you will know that you are not alone. We are so excited to finally be a family of 3 and we can’t wait for this new adventure."
-Marc & Kim Epstein
"I just wanted to share the good news, that after 7 years, I am pregnant! Our treatment worked and we wanted to thank you and the Foundation so much for your help in our process!!! We are 19 weeks along and it still feels pretty surreal but getting more real with every day that passes..." Anonymous
Update: "Our beautiful son, Hillel, is now 15 months old. We're still amazed and so grateful to everyone that helped us with this process. Now, my husband and I are paying it forward and are serving in the Fertility Buddy peer-to-peer program. Thanks to the work of the Jewish Fertility Foundation, we are stepping forward and helping to break the stigma and shame of infertility."
-Shira (& Elie) Avitan
“I’m so grateful for the Jewish Fertility Foundation and its purpose. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m not Jewish, but when I was told the hard news that we would have to undergo IVF in order to hopefully conceive I needed support. I needed more support than just my best friend, mom and even husband. I needed someone who’s experienced what I was going through first hand. I needed someone who I could call or text at any time of the day and just cry.
Again, I’m not Jewish, but all of the infertility support groups in Atlanta were “inactive” at the time, so I reached out to Elana, and they welcomed me with open arms. They paired me with such an inspiring and supportive fertility buddy. She even supported me throughout my entire pregnancy. I now have a bundle of joy who is about to be six months. I’m so grateful for the JFF. Keep doing what you do!”
"The program was amazing support for those that are here to help loved ones going through infertility. So nice that JFF provides thats services."
"The variety of speakers and viewpoints/knowledge that they added was the best part about the program, not to mention the fact that it was live streamed."
"The openness of all the speakers was the best part of the program. Everyone seemed approachable and forthcoming with information."
"Having the psychologists perspective to validate the feelings & emotiuons was unexpected but very helpful."
"JScreen, a Jewish genetic disease screening program, sometimes identifies Jewish or interfaith couples at high risk for having children with genetic diseases. While IVF with preimplantation genetic diagnosis and other reproductive technologies are available to help these couples maximize their chances for having healthy children, many couples do not have the resources needed to take advantage of these procedures. JScreen partners with JFF to help couples access these technologies and plan ahead for healthy families."
-Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid, MS, LCGC, CCRC Executive Director, JScreen Instructor, Emory University School of Medicine
"To say that going thru infertility treatment is overwhelming would be an understatement. It's a difficult process on so many planes. It's physically and emotionally draining, it's extremely expensive, and it's so time-consuming. We have just heard back that our first embryo transfer thru IVF was unsuccessful and it's so difficult to digest, but JFF has been so helpful on so many levels, and they play a large role in how we continue to be hopeful and positive.
JFF has eased the financial burden tremendously. They didn't only help us get a grant, but they also helped us obtain a loan thru JIFLA. Elana helped us thru the application process and even let me drop off the application at her home since she was flying out of town and recognized how much an earlier answer to our application would mean to us. JFF has also been an invaluable resource in helping us make medical decisions. The IVF route is one with ubiquitous questions and uncertainty, and Elana has helped us contact people who've undergone similar routines or seek medical expertise from people more knowledgeable than we are. We consider ourselves so fortunate to have received this grant and hope others take advantage of this priceless resource for the Jewish community."
"I am so happy to have the opportunity to receive help from such a wonderful foundation as JFF and more so it has been such a delight to get to work with such amazing ladies as both of you on this journey! As this process is not at all easy and pretty emotional you two have made it so much better to go through! My husband and I were admiring your work ethics and can not say enough how much we appreciate everything you have done to help us! I truly hope we can one day return the favor!"
"I learned about the Jewish Fertility Foundation after four years of trying to bring a child into my life, and it has utterly transformed the struggle. Everyone—everyone—I met through the organization is exceptional. Elana Frank connected me to three different people, each of whom connected me to still more people. When they reached my voicemail, they left messages. Or they left messages AND they sent text messages. It was clear that these were women who understood that someone undergoing fertility treatment is always waiting for a return phone call. They didn’t make me wait for the emotional support and information I needed--immediately. Most extraordinary of all, the “fertility buddy” I was matched to invited me to stay with her and her family (I live several hours outside Atlanta) for two weeks while I underwent treatment at RBA. Reducing stress, anxiety, and worry can only help, and that’s exactly what my “buddy” did for me. Truly exceptional! I can’t wait to give back to this foundation when my child is born."