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



Our fertility buddies practice “relationship-based support.” Individuals currently experiencing infertility are matched with trained fertility buddy veterans, who understand the pressure, pain, and emotional upheaval caused by infertility, and can offer the much-needed support to their buddies.

Experiencing Infertility?Veteran of Infertility?



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
Learn More



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

Coming Soon!


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


Meet the JFF-PGH Manager

JFF-PGH 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.

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.

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.

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.

Ranisa Davidson

Ranisa currently serves as the Program Manager at the 10.27 Healing Partnership, a resiliency center created to provide support, connection, and opportunities for reflection for individuals and their loved ones impacted by the October 2018 attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and others who experience trauma. Prior to this, Ranisa spent 13 years providing support, counseling and education to families going through the adoption process. Ranisa completed her undergraduate degree in communication and journalism at The George Washington University and a master’s degree in Health Education at Boston University. She is a Pittsburgh native who was eager to return to her roots in Sq. Hill and to work within the community where she grew up. Ranisa currently lives in Sq. Hill with her husband and two sons and can often be found walking the neighborhood or on the trails of Frick Park.

Why JFF?
The process of starting a family can be overwhelming and full of unknowns. When faced with infertility, this journey can be long, painful and isolating. No one should have to navigate that process alone. Ranisa is profoundly grateful to be connected to the strong and resilient city of Pittsburgh and she is forward to helping to foster a sense of community and connection for those struggling with infertility.

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.

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.

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.

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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Free and open to anyone experiencing infertility. Registration is required at least 12 hours in advance. REGISTER HERE.

JFF-PGH Ladies Night Out!


Pittsburgh Ladies! Join JFF & PJ Library for a Ladies Night Out! WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14TH 6:00-8:00 PM at the PITTSBURGH GLASS CENTER *Enjoy light snacks & wine *Use your creative energy...