Spa for the Soul raises funds…and hopes

March 11, 2010 by J-Wire Staff
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More than 300 participants were pampered at the University of New South Wales’ Roundhouse to raise funds to help couples facing fertility problems.

The journey for many Jewish couples faced with fertility issues is often fraught with disappointment, frustration and heartache, not to mention the immense financial burden of treatments like IVF.  For any woman who has experienced or witnessed such hardships, next month’s ‘Spa for the Soul’ is a must-attend event.

Spa for the Soul was held at the  University of NSW Roundhouse in Randwick.  The evening was filled with personal stories, practical advice and plenty of pampering. It was also a chance to raise much-needed funds for couples seeking fertility treatments. This year marks 30 years since Australia’s first IVF baby, making this event a timely one.

“With over 15% of couples now experiencing fertility issues, ‘Spa for the Soul’ enables people from all parts of the Jewish community to come together and support a life-changing cause by either donating money, services or simply participating in the night. Everyone has been touched by the struggles and hardships of infertility in some way – whether it be an aunt, cousin, sister or friend. Now we all have a chance to really make a tangible difference to those couples who are struggling to become parents,”  said Shterny Dadon.

Highlights of ‘Spa for the Soul’ 2010 included:

  • ¬ A raft of activities including a salad and dessert bar, massages, mini manicures, mosaic making, Israeli Dancing, Thai foot massages, African drumming, sushi demonstrations and much more.
  • ¬ Special guest speaker Theresa Miller, author of the widely-acclaimed book Making Babies (, who  shared her own trials and tribulations in becoming a parent
  • ¬ Qualified fertility clinic experts on hand to offer practical information
  • ¬ Lectures by Leah Hechtman, a Naturopath, Reproductive, Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist and Rebetzian Fruma Shapiro spoke about ‘ Mikvah, Marriage and Children the incredible connection’.

For the first time there will also be an award ceremony led by Rabbi Ulman to acknowledge the amazing commitment to the community by the medical staff from three major IVF clinics.

The brainchild of Jodie Lowe-Ariel, Shterny Dadon and Dorit Gerrassi and launched four years ago, ‘Spa for the Soul’ has become an important annual event run by a handful of dedicated volunteers from the Jewish community. What began as a hands-on way to meet the needs of one couple who couldn’t afford fertility treatments, has quickly grown into a major forum to raise awareness of the struggles and hardships of infertility and provide solutions in an open and supportive environment.

Last year’s event had an incredible response, with over 250 attendees and enabled two fortunate couples to begin the necessary fertility treatments. Whilst not every couple is guaranteed to have a baby even with fertility treatment, since last year’s event there have been three successful pregnancies and since December 2006 eight babies have been conceived as a direct result of the ‘Spa for the Soul’ events and appeals.

Jodie Lowe-Ariel said: “I believe the real success of ‘Spa for the Soul’ is the genuine concern, heartfelt prayers and generosity of our supporters and participants who joined as one to help make the dreams of these couples come true.”

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