IVF and egg freezing according to Jewish law

November 15, 2021 by Community newsdesk
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The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Australia (JOFA) has hosted a ZOOM event dedicated to understanding the nuanced Jewish law and Halachic requirements of IVF and egg freezing.

The panel consisted of Australian women from Melbourne, Sydney, and Israel.

JOFA Australia President Nomi Kaltmann said: “In recent years IVF technology has become very advanced. Women are able to freeze their eggs and embryos can be created and stored for years. With these new technologies, Halachic considerations have to be carefully studied.”

The panel included Australian-Israeli Yoetzet Halacha Michal Roness, a Halachic Fertility Counselor at Midreshet Nishmat, in conversation with Sydney IVF Mashgicha Michelle Eisenberg and former Melbournian Mina Cohen, who recently decided to freeze her eggs.

“The discussion was very interesting and informative,” said Kaltmann. “People asked interesting questions and Yoetzet Halacha Michal was able to provide deep Halachic insights into new and emerging areas of Jewish law relating to fertility,” she said.

Mina Cohen also provided details of her personal story relating to why she decided to freeze her eggs, opening up a conversation that has long been seen as taboo, helping women to understand the requirements and process involved in making such a decision.

“Hearing a personal story helps to destigmatize the conversation,” said Kaltmann. “We hope this will lead to a greater agency for orthodox women who are considering making big life decisions related to freezing their eggs and we are grateful to Mina for her candour and informative descriptions,” she said.

About 60 people logged on to the Zoom event, with questions covering a wide range of interesting topics, including the Halachic requirements of supervision for eggs and embryos, the orthodox view on single parenthood as well as surrogacy and who is considered the ‘parent’ according to Jewish law.

“Following the online event, we had feedback that women who had attended our event had sought out rabbinical organisations involved in Australian IVF supervision as well as women offering to volunteer to join as Mashgichot [Jewish law supervisors],” added Nomi Kaltmann. “We consider this outcome a very big success.”



One Response to “IVF and egg freezing according to Jewish law”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Governments make laws and religions have rules and customs.

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