Starting the Conversation: Infertili-TEA

By Jennifer Starrett

“When are you having a baby?”

“Are you going to try for a third?”

“Don’t you want to be a parent?”

These seemingly innocent questions that are so often used as small talk are in reality complicated and can trigger an emotional response. And while some people are open and honest about their hopes for the future or struggles, the decision to have a family or decide how big that family is, isn’t something that anyone should have to justify or explain to another person.

The decision to have a family is a personal one, and sometimes infertility or secondary infertility can make it even more of a challenge. And hearing these comments from friends, family or even strangers can make this time in a person’s life even more difficult.

“It is mind boggling to me that someone would say something so personal or impose on private matters,” says Chani Levertov, who privately struggled with secondary infertility after having her first two children. “I realized that while infertility can be a sensitive issue, it isn’t anything to be ashamed of.”

And that is why Chani helped start a support group called Fruitful for couples facing infertility that meets monthly to share their stories, fears and struggles. And while it was helpful to be together and share with the group, Chani realized that people not facing these struggles themselves could use some education in how to speak to and support those around them facing infertility.

That is why Chani jumped at the chance to host a special program dedicated to starting the conversation about how we as a community can better support those around us facing infertility. And for the past two months, Chani has put together a group of organizations and leaders to help promote and spread awareness about this event including Michelle Adler, who says as an active member of our community says she feels it is important for her to “know what to say, how to act, and how to be more thoughtful with anyone experiencing any element of infertility.”

Infertili-TEA will be a free event for both women and men on Monday, August 13 at 7:30 p.m. The goal of the program is for people to socialize and learn about Yesh Tikva, a new organization that was established to empower others and give a voice to their struggles while breaking down barriers and facilitate the conversation surrounding infertility by educating the community at large to support others. Dvora Entin, LCSW, Yesh Tikva’s mental health professional and moderator of the virtual support groups, will present a brief talk and share tools for attendees to use and begin thinking more about how we communicate with those around us.

The event is actually designed for people who aren’t necessarily going through infertility but rather as a way for them to learn about how to support their friends or family members who are struggling. And it is an important discussion for both men and women, as women aren’t the only ones who go through infertility, and everyone can grow and learn how to be more sensitive and understanding.

“How incredible could it be if those on a journey with infertility had someone who considered their needs, supported them and could just be a bit kinder,” says Michelle. “Our community is incredible – let’s take care of each other and support one another.”

For more information visit YeshTikva.org or email support@yeshtikva.org.

note this event already occurred. Please visit the contact page with any questions*

EVENT DETAILS:

WHAT: Infertili-TEA, Featuring Dvora Entin, LCSW, Raising Awareness, Compassion and Support

WHEN: Monday, August 13, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: At a private home

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Fruitful, Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix NowGen, Jewish Free Loan, Chabad of Arizona and PJ Library Phoenix