Infertility Awareness Shabbat
Infertility Awareness Shabbat is an annual event organized by Yesh Tikva to raise awareness of and sensitivity towards infertility in the Jewish community. In the past, over 200 synagogues and temples partnered with Yesh Tikva to enhance communal understanding and facilitate empathy for those who struggle to build and grow their families.
This annual event is held just before the holiday of Passover. Passover is a holiday filled with rituals specifically geared to include children in the discussion about the exodus from Egypt. In order to retell the story and pass along our heritage to the next generation, we are commanded: “And you shall tell your children” (Exodus 13:8).
Traditionally Passover is a time when families gather together. For those struggling with infertility, Passover can be a lonely and very frustrating holiday. They see families with children celebrating together and the thing they want so desperately- a family of their own- is currently out of their reach.
Ahead of the event, Yesh Tikva puts together a resources packet for Rabbis and communal leaders. This packet includes:
- resources and information about infertility
- sensitivity suggestions
- a guide related to Jewish rituals and infertility
- Jewish texts related to infertility and
- sample sermon ideas that can be shared with their congregations.
In 2020, due to Corona, the annual event was held virtually. Yesh Tikva invited 10 speakers to talk for 5 minutes each about issues related to infertility and our obligation to ensure that everyone in the Jewish community feels welcome.
Passover is a holiday of inclusion. At the beginning of the Seder, we declare: “Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are needy come and celebrate Passover.” As a community, we need to make sure that no one feels alone on Passover.
This year’s Infertility Awareness Shabbat took place the weekend of Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 3. It was an inspiring weekend dedicated to increasing empathy for those facing infertility with synagogues and communities all over the world.
Looking Ahead to 2023
Next year’s Infertility Awareness Shabbat will take place the weekend of Thursday, March 23 – Sunday, March 26. There are several ways to participate both in person and virtually. If your synagogue or community would like to participate, please take a minute to fill out this registration form. If you have any questions, please reach out using the “contact us” button below and we will send you more information about this year’s event.