Elana Frank, 42, is the CEO and founder of the Jewish Fertility Foundation, an organization that has helped hundreds of families facing medical infertility with financial assistance, emotional support and educational programming. She was born and raised in Atlanta and is happy to be back after an 18-year hiatus. She lives in Toco Hills with her family, where her current goal is to help make infertility treatments accessible to anyone … and run a 5K with her three boys.
What inspires you to get up every morning?
My work. I was lucky to have my infertility experience begin in Israel, where treatment is free, and because of that, I had a desire to help others. With the realization that cost, education and access were tremendous stumbling blocks for this “unspoken” issue in the Jewish community, I rallied people behind me and created the JFF in 2015.
What drives you to continue doing this work for your community?
The Jewish community embraces and celebrates families, but the journey to create those families can be fraught. Because family is so central to Jewish life, many individuals and couples experience tremendous stress and pressure when the path to parenthood is not so simple. Infertility remains taboo, but JFF is changing the conversation, helping those who need extra support on the road to parenthood while nurturing much- needed culture change on the issue of infertility. Through educational programming (including my podcast, “Fruitful & Multiplying”), JFF initiates a healthy Jewish communal conversation about infertility.
What person, thing, or event has influenced your life most?
Learning that my body wasn’t functioning in the way that I envisioned and that I had to reimagine how I was going to grow my family was one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced. In my world, it’s common to help people who are trying to have children, but as the recipient of an embryo donation for my third child, it’s hard to comprehend the generosity of a stranger to give such a transformational gift to complete my family.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Having built out a national organization that serves all 50 states to help individuals and couples experiencing infertility.
How has your perception of this age changed since you were younger?
I remember my mom at my age and she was old. I’ve only just begun. I think that our 40s are the new 30s! I love who I am now. I love that I’m no longer self-conscious and accept and appreciate the gifts I was given.