Saturday, June 03, 2023

The Jewish Link recently interviewed Rabbi Elan Segelman, rabbinical director of PUAH USA. Below are excerpts of that conversation.

Q. Can you share some background history about PUAH Institute, the pioneer in Jewish fertility organizations?

A. Machon PUAH was founded in Israel in the late 1970s by Rav Menachem Burstein at the behest of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l. With the new scientific breakthroughs in fertility, Rav Eliyahu understood that the frum world would need guidance navigating the halachic aspects of this miraculous new technology.

Q. What is the difference between PUAH and other fertility organizations?

A. We are the only organization that services the entire spectrum of the
Orthodox Jewish community. We help singles, we help with primary and secondary infertility and we help couples who need third party reproduction. PUAH is a “one-stop shop” that provides the gamut of fertility services: financial assistance, medical guidance, halachic guidance, and emotional support.

Q. Why would a couple reach out to PUAH and not go to their doctor first?

A. Good question! Firstly, they may feel overwhelmed and not even know where to begin. PUAH’s expert counselor can help them navigate the complex journey.

Secondly, PUAH approaches fertility from a more holistic perspective, taking into account both the medical and halachic aspects.

In the medical realm, each doctor has their own specific way of practicing and we encourage getting second opinions if the couple feels they aren’t progressing.

Lastly, doctors may not take the time to explain to a couple why they’re advising a specific treatment. We give our couples the understanding and support they need to appreciate what their doctor wants to accomplish.

Q. Does PUAH provide emotional support and community to these families?

A. Yes. Our PUAH Cares team is composed of therapists, social workers, kallah teachers — people who understand the couples’ emotional journey and can provide them with a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on. This service is critical to the couples’ ultimate success.

Q. What does PUAH do to raise community awareness about infertility? How does your upcoming campaign on June 11-12 fit into this picture?

A. Fertility education and awareness is a big part of our mission. Whether it’s through ads, articles, social media postings, webinars, community events or classes, we aim to discuss all areas of the fertility struggle in an open manner to break the stigma.

Our upcoming campaign is a part of this goal. By sharing the campaign link, not only are you raising money to ensure we can continue helping couples have the babies they dream of, but you’re also helping to spread awareness.

Donate on www.thewaitoftheworld.org.

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