JFF Hosts Pathways to Parenthood Celebration

JFF Hosts Pathways to Parenthood Celebration

The Jewish Fertility Foundation-Atlanta celebrates the expansion of their services, bringing financial support, along with their established emotional and educational resources to the LGBTQ+ community.

Members of the JFF staff, along with Board Chair Scott Anklowitz, enjoyed the evening together and showing support to those in the LGBTQ+ community currently on a family-building journey.
Members of the JFF staff, along with Board Chair Scott Anklowitz, enjoyed the evening together and showing support to those in the LGBTQ+ community currently on a family-building journey.

Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF), a non-profit providing financial assistance, emotional support, and educational programming to individuals on a family-building journey, marked the expansion of their services to include those without a diagnosis of medical infertility. This expansion opens the door for many in the LGBTQ+ community to access JFF’s financial support and was celebrated with a launch event at the Distillery of Modern Art in Chamblee.

The event, Pathways to Parenthood, held on Feb. 29, was an evening of community-building, education, and entertainment, bringing the Atlanta community together. Scott Anklowitz, chair of the Jewish Fertility Foundation Board of Directors, explained the event’s importance, saying, “Jewish Fertility Foundation provides resources to those facing family-building challenges, and last night’s event was a powerful start, conveying to the LGBTQ+ community that we are here to help.”

Barbara Katz speaks during the Pathways to Parenthood celebration.

Guests enjoyed schmoozing, a communal art project, kosher brick-oven pizza, and signature drinks with Distillery of Modern Art’s own artisanal spirits, before moving on to the evening’s scheduled programming. The lineup of speakers was comprised of well-known experts in the Jewish Atlanta LGBTQ+ community, and the focus of their talks was to educate attendees about the family-building options and support available to LGBTQ+ prospective parents and where to turn to for assistance and advice.

Attorney Barbara Katz, whose decades-long legal focus has been on meeting the needs of traditional and non-traditional families, talked about the legal issues relating to assisted reproductive technology, adoption law, and legally securing one’s family.

Dr. Quinton Katler, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Shady Grove Fertility in Atlanta, spoke about in-vitro fertilization, third-party assisted reproduction, and other pertinent medical technologies of particular interest to prospective LGBTQ+ parents.

JFF Grantee Recipient Liz Reynolds with her partner and sibling, showing support for her sharing their journey.

Rebecca Stapel-Wax, director of SOJOURN, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, spoke as a community leader, activist, and parent, about the landscape of the LGBTQ+ Jewish community and how it has evolved in the past decades till now.

Elizabeth Reynolds, former Jewish Fertility Foundation client and proud queer parent, spoke about her own experience working with JFF through infertility and her partner’s transition, to have their beautiful baby.

After these esteemed speakers shared their experiences and knowledge with the crowd, comedian and headlining act Sam Morrison took the stage. Sam is a Jewish LGBTQ+ comedian who has performed on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Comedy Central, the New York City Comedy Festival, and many other critically acclaimed engagements. He performed a routine that touched heavily on his experience being a Jewish, gay comedian. Morrison connected to the audience and kept all attendees laughing for the full, 45-minute set. His opener, Ian Aber, and host, Nate Allen, helped to warm up the audience with their delightful humor and quick wit.

“I was so happy to attend and support JFF’s Pathways to Parenthood event. It was such an uplifting and wonderful experience to see JFF engaging and supporting LGBTQ folks who want to start a family. I wish they were around when my wife and I were trying to conceive but I’m so happy I get to support new friends as a volunteer ‘fertility buddy’ in the organization. It’s making a difference for so many people,” said Karen Shacham, JFF Fertility Buddy Veteran.

Dr. Quinton Katler discusses alternative family-building options.

To date, JFF has made a huge impact on Jewish communities across all of their eight locations and will continue to boast impressive statistics. Elana Frank, CEO and founder of JFF says, “What we have been able to accomplish since I started JFF is beyond anything I could have imagined. Across the country, we are delivering the necessary resources that Jewish families and beyond need to be fruitful and multiply.”

JFF would like to thank the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta – Innovations Initiative for generously paving the way to expand JFF support and educate the community about this new opportunity and celebrate this milestone. Additionally, JFF thanks the following partners for their support: SOJOURN, 18Doors, REPAIR the World Atlanta, Honeymoon Israel, Jewish Interest-Free Loan Association, Congregation Bet Haverim, Ma’alot Atlanta, and Federation NextGen Atlanta.

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