An Organization to Help Those Struggling with Infertility

Idit Solomon
March 6, 2014
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Thank you to Caryn Aviv for the very powerful plea. Simply put, we agree completely. In the name of Jewish continuity, the Jewish community has established everything from scholarships for camp to free trips to Israel to subsidies for the arts to grants for starting interfaith programs. However, for many Jews there is not going to be a need to subsidize their children’s education, or trip, or whatever because they cannot afford to conceive their children in the first place. As I wrote recently in EJewishPhilanthropy, Birthright has collided with the birthrate  and the Jewish community needs to step up to help.

People finance car purchases from $10K to $30K every day. Others plan and buy houses for hundreds of thousands of dollars because the banking system (flaws aside) will help them finance it. People are willing to save money over time because they know this expense is coming. Who is preparing to pay to conceive their child? No one. Nobody expects to go through infertility and they certainly do not plan to pay for treatment.

There is an organization that is working to address exactly what you asked. Hasidah is that national Jewish fertility foundation whose mission is to build Jewish families by providing financial support for Assisted Reproductive Technologies. We are piloting in Columbus and expanding next year with the intention to grow nationally with the kind of support you are requesting. We have begun exactly the conversation you called for and would love to see support from any Jewish community organization or philanthropist who appreciates the urgency and need.

We believe that those experiencing infertility ought to have support before they spend the money they could be setting aside for their children’s education and before they have exhausted all other options. We imagine a future where people do not spend down their savings on infertility treatment because they already know the Jewish community will help them through a grant or a loan if they need it. We believe that infertility is a Jewish community issue. And we believe that providing financial support can be done.

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Idit Solomon Rabbi Idit Solomon the founder and CEO of Hasidah, a foundation focused on Jewish infertility issues. She previously served for six years as the vice president of Jewish Education and Identity at the Jewish Federation of Columbus. In her rabbinical work, Rabbi Solomon worked in areas spanning from congregations, schools, camps, Hillel, and elder care facilities. She received ordination and a Master’s of Jewish Education from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles. Prior to her graduate studies she worked as a business systems analyst. She is married and has two children.

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