BY RABBI ARYE D. GORDON
“PUAH is helping couples to become parents.” It is the kind of story with a happy ending that we all love to hear.
It is the story of newlyweds who have been married for a while, some for years, but the brachah of building a family has eluded them.
In desperation, these couples search for ways to halachically complete their family and join the ranks of growing mishpachos that fill our communities and our lives. Many of the fortunate ones have found and discovered the PUAH Institute.
It has been over twenty years since the founding of PUAH, an Eretz Yisrael-based international organization working with and assisting Jewish couples with fertility problems .
On Sunday morning August 12, the fourth Annual Los Angeles PUAH Brunch was hosted once again by Rafi and Esther Katz. The brunch was attended by a wide cross-section of couples, rabbis and baalei batim, who were either looking for help or eager to show their support for PUAH and its groundbreaking endeavors.
The PUAH Institute offers counseling services and technical support for couples dealing with infertility. All this is done to assist couples in navigating the medical options while remaining within halachah.
Tzvi Fleischmann was the Master of Ceremonies for the morning program. “The ways of Hashem are not always clear to us. However, we have been given permission for the rofeh lerap’os, for the doctor to heal. Hashem has given Machon PUAH the ability to help these couples, and those of us who are fortunate enough to have children without the struggles still feel the pain of those who struggle, and do what we can by participating and by supporting PUAH.”
Tzvi then introduced Rabbi Union of the Rabbinical Council of California, who described how the RCC has been working for years with the PUAH Institute. “Machon PUAH changes lives. It is a force in education, in counseling and a resource for people to turn to for guidance and direction. Machon PUAH is there to bring new lives into the world,” said Rabbi Union.
PUAH’s goal is “Building families baby by baby.” Doctors who work with PUAH play a major role in making this happen. Honored as Physician of the Year was one of the doctors at the top of the list, Michael Feinman, MD, FACOG. Said Dr. Feinman, “PUAH makes me proud to be Jewish.
The understanding that I have found among Rabbis, of both the Talmud and of science, helping to create a pathway by which couples can undergo treatment according to halachah, is astounding and admirable. I thank PUAH for honoring me and all who have dedicated their time and efforts for this wonderful calling.”
A tribute in memory of Faiga Nesha bas Binyomin HaKohen a”h, the mother of Jeff Presser, Dr. Steven Presser and Mrs. Marilyn Sohacheski, was given by Binyamin Sohacheski, a grandson. Binyamin delivered a dvar Torah expounding on the creation of Adam HaRishon and Hashem’s creation of the world for the benefit of humankind. He then spoke of his grandparents, among the early religious founders of families in Los Angeles, who played a significant role in the religious development of this growing city.
“It is a distinct honor for me to announce the formation of this new PUAH Fund in memory of my grandmother, Faiga Nesha, a”h, who believed in family, believed in continuing generations, and believed in being mekayem generations.”
Yaron Chasid, a staunch supporter of PUAH and a beneficiary of its great work, stepped forward to introduce the keynote speaker, Mr. David Suissa, President, TRIBE Media Group/ L.A. Jewish Journal.
David was effusive in his praise of Jews around the world who help other Jews. He reminisced about his personal experiences growing up and leaving his home in Morocco with his parents, and being the recipients of help from others. It created within him a strong affinity for all Jews.
He marveled at the amazing response by all Jews to answer the needs of others in distress. In trying to explain this phenomenon he could only say, “It is ... love,” a love that expresses itself by Jews being willing to do anything they can for any Jew.
Now that he is able to, he has been doing what he can to assist others, financially and otherwise, and to emulate those who helped his family.
“So when I see an organization like PUAH that deals with children and fertility and helping others to create more Jewish souls, that is the highest level of giving.”
Mrs. Lea Davidson, the Executive Director who runs Puah’s American offices, thanked Rafi and Esther Katz for hosting the Brunch, Ahuva Goldstein, PUAH’s Head of Supervision on the West Coast, and all the speakers and guests for their participation.
“I salute you and thank you all for coming and being a part of the brachah we bring to those in need.”
For more information on PUAH and its activities, call (718) 336-0603 or contact www.puahonline.org.