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Seeds of Hope: Couples Struggling with Infertility

Posted on Dec 6, 2011

By Analia Bortz, Congregation Or Hadash, Atlanta, GA

The Project:

Seeds of Hope is a support group for those dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss. The program started as a request from a member of my congregation, Congregation Or Hadash, who tragically experienced a stillbirth. For the last 6 years, our group of women trying to conceive has been meeting once a month.

My approach is a holistic way to look at the body and soul:
I incorporate my background as a physician and my rabbinic vocation to address these challenges and to invite couples to open their minds to thinking holistically. We attend the mikvah where women connect with the waters of our tradition allowing the waters of the mikvah to be a funnel of hope and prayer for a successful conception and birth.

The Project’s Impact:

The program has grown exponentially:
I started the program in my home. Seeds of Hope has since moved to the Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta. We invite psychologists, medical doctors, and guests from reproductive clinics, who volunteer their time and expertise to speak to the group.

Ongoing Challenges:

Skepticism was a challenge at the beginning:

  • How does my body respond to prayers?
  • How can I believe that my future may change and I will be able to have a child by engaging in this process?

Those are legitimate concerns, but women who have gone through the program have come back to encourage others in this process. I’ve seen women transform their skepticism into faith.

Funding, of course, continues to be a challenge.

Follow your dreams. Allow people to touch your heart, so you can touch theirs.



Dr. Rabbi Analia Bortz has over 18 years of experience as a pulpit rabbi and over 20 years of experience as a Jewish educator. She has been a scholar-in-residence in several cities in South America, the United States of America, and Spain.

seeds of hope

Please also check out the "A Loss worthy of grief" website.  This is resources, materials and other things from the National Center for Jewish Healing following a major conference we did.  Because of some changes in our website, the easiest way to get to it is to google it, but you can also get to it at www.jbfcs.org/jcs.

Stephanie Dickstein

Seeds of Hope

Analia, this is a wonderful program. I am excited to hear about it.

And I wanted to let you know about my book, published by Jewish Lights, called "Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope" that is dedicated to infertility and pregnancy loss. It may be of great use to you and the women and families you counsel as your program develops.

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