Borough Park Brooklyn, NY - A row of over 20 credit card machines lined the entrance to the main hall of the Ateres Chaya hall in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and by the end of the night had pulled in several hundred thousand dollars for Bonei Olam, a haredi organization that raises money to help fund fertility treatments for religious couples struggling to get pregnant.
The annual fundraiser is considered one of the most popular events of the year in this neighborhood, and this years event brought in upwards of 10,000 people.
For no other group has infertility treatment become as much of a cause celebre as it has for the haredim, for whom the subject is by no means new. For haredim, having children is not elective, it is the “purpose of the union between man and woman” said Shlomo Chaimovits, president of Agudath Israel of Borough Park, who attended the fundraiser.
“How long can you run before your soles run out?” said Chaimovits. “Bonei Olam does not give up.” To date, Bonei Olam has helped over 2000 couples, and has helped in bringing about the birth of 674 babies.
In 1999, when Bonei Olam opened, the five founders got no encouragement. “The subject of infertility was still taboo, and it wasn’t talked about,” said Rivkie Kleinbart, one of the group’s founders. “You can say we brought it out of the closet, but we had to be careful.”
The group has since expanded to nine locations around the world, including branches in Israel, London, Belgium, and Dublin. [J-Post]
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