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Infertility Awareness Shabbat
April 5, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - April 6, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Over 20 Sydney synagogues are set to break the silence surrounding infertility in the Jewish community during the Infertility Awareness Shabbat on 5-6 April 2019.
The International Infertility Awareness Shabbat is celebrated just before Pesach, a festival which celebrates Jewish continuity.
With family being central to the celebration of the festival, couples experiencing infertility can often feel a sense of despair, loneliness and isolation that they aren’t able to experience the joy of Pesach with children of their own at their Seder table.
Shterny Dadon, Australian Jewish Fertility Network (AJFN) Founder and General Manager explains that it is poignant, especially at this time of year, to speak about infertility openly and to give it a voice.
“We want to come to come together as a community to say to all of those struggling: ‘you are not alone’,” says Ms Dadon. “We want people to know that there is hope, there is support and that we share their pain.”
This year, more than twenty synagogues across Sydney will be participating in the Infertility Awareness Shabbat. AJFN will also be distributing 1,000 ‘baby’ challahs throughout the community, sparking conversation about an often taboo subject, while tangibly showing support for those in the community experiencing infertility.
Infertility is not openly discussed in our community, yet with one in six couples experiencing fertility issues, there are many couples in each synagogue who are experiencing the anguish of not being able to conceive naturally.
The AJFN hopes that the Infertility Awareness Shabbat will raise awareness and sensitivity about a very personal issue.Kerry Gonski, AJFN Chair, says “Jewish continuity depends on our ability to come together to acknowledge that there is more than one way to make a baby. What better way to help strengthen our community than to help ensure generations can continue from one to the next.”
“Even if you don’t go to shule on Shabbat, we encourage everyone to say a prayer for those who are longing for a baby of their own, have a discussion with those around you or reach out to someone who is struggling with infertility,” encourages Ms Gonski. “Even if you don’t know what to say, simply telling them ‘I am here for you’ is enough.”