June 24, 2024
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Yesh Tikva Plans Annual Infertility Awareness Shabbat

(Courtesy of Yesh Tikva) Yesh Tikva, a national not-for-profit organization supporting Jewish women and men facing infertility, is proud to announce that many congregations in North America, Australia and Israel have accepted the challenge to be a part of Yesh Tikva’s Sixth Annual Infertility Awareness Shabbat (IAS) taking place March 11-13.

Yesh Tikva’s Infertility Awareness Shabbat is an initiative where communal leaders dedicate a weekend to raising awareness about infertility and its emotional impact. Through this initiative, communal leaders join together with their colleagues across the country (and globally) to share a special dvar Torah (in-person where permitted or recorded), message or event aimed at infertility and the need to be sensitive to those dealing with it. Many communities have congregants revealing their own personal struggles for the first time in an effort to educate those around them on the subject.

“It is inspiring how much conversation has increased around infertility in the past six years,” said Gila Muskin Block, executive director and co-founder of Yesh Tikva. “IAS is an opportunity to bring that conversation from the fertility community into the broader Jewish global community to ensure that our communities are able to embrace their local one in eight who are struggling, with empathy and sensitivity.”

The goal of IAS is to make sure people facing infertility do not feel excluded from the  approaching the holiday of Passover, where people are reminded once again about the  integral role children play in Judaism and its observance. The words repeated over and  over again in the Haggadah of “ -לבנך והגדת and you shall tell your children,” can pierce like  a dagger in the hearts of couples who struggle with infertility. They are a direct reminder of  what these individuals want so desperately, a family, but are not able to have at the  moment.

This year’s theme for IAS is Creating Space. Creating space means taking stock of our communal experiences and family gatherings to ensure that all present will feel welcomed and seen. It means that we actively work to be mindful of our language and ensure that it is supportive and kind. We find unique ways to include those who are struggling to grow their families in our celebrations that are sensitive to their pain by asking them in private, in advance.

For this sixth anniversary, Yesh Tikva has included in its regular resource to congregations, practical tips and tools to support family and friends this holiday, both in-person and for those social distancing. This resource is aimed at educating and empowering the community with information and perspectives that are important in the world of awareness and sensitivity towards the one in eight Jewish women and men diagnosed with infertility.

You can learn more about IAS and Yesh Tikva’s work at YeshTikva.org. For more information please contact: [email protected].

Yesh Tikva is pleased to partner with the following organizations for Infertility Awareness Shabbat:

Australian Jewish Fertility Network, Australia

Fruitful, Phoenix

Gefen Fertility, Israel

Hadassah, National

I Was Supposed to Have a Baby, Social Media-Based

Jewish Fertility Foundation, Atlanta and Cincinnati

Nishmat Yoatzot Halacha, America and Israel

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