“And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: ‘Give me children, or else I die’” (Genesis 30:1). The Hebrew Bible unflinchingly retells the emotional, spiritual and psychophysical pains experienced by our ancestors on their journeys to have children. Here and elsewhere–in prayer, ritual behaviors, and displays of material culture–Judaism establishes the centrality of family and the mitzvah to build one.
This pressure is strong enough to alienate and demoralize Jewish men and women who struggle with fertility challenges. Often, they withdraw from organized Jewish life, especially on child-centered holidays, such as Purim, Hanukkah, and Passover. Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys was born from the idea that one can feel uprooted from one’s self, one’s community, one’s vision for the future, and from one’s body when going through family-building struggles.
Uprooted widens the American Jewish community to all Jews and Jewishly-connected partners on all family-building paths. Through programming, ritual development, and advocacy, we create new, innovative pathways for personal healing and empathic, Jewish connection. As Jewish values and traditions emphasize the importance of family and growing one’s family, Uprooted aims to create an American Jewish community where those struggling to achieve this goal feel supported and welcomed.