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Jewish Women's Health

Please visit www.jewishwomenshealth.org for a wide range of articles and case studies on the topic of women's health and Jewish Law. This website is designed to assist medical practitioners in providing optimal care to their observant Jewish patients.

List of ART Clinics Offering Halachic Supervision

This article provides a listing of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics in the New York area that currently engage some form of hashgachah (halachic supervision - see Halachic Supervision for Assisted Reproductive Technology) for couples who request it. It is an updated version of a list provided by Rabbi Dr. Richard Weiss. The inclusion of a program in the following list does not automatically imply endorsement of that program by this site.

Information on halachic supervision in Israel is available on the Machon Puah website, under Supervision Services.

Genesis Fertility & Reproductive Medicine
Dr. Richard V. Grazi, Director
1355 84th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11228
718-283-8600 or 8601

Hashgachah is under the direction of Rabbi Avrohom Friedlander, who, in addition to his own personal supervision, engages additional orthodox men and women to oversee all aspects of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, including sample washing, centrifugation, freezing and loading of pipettes. Women supervisors are present during retrievals of eggs (oocytes) and transfers of fertilized eggs (preembryos) when having a male supervisor (mashgiach) could be uncomfortable for the patient.

When the husband brings his sperm sample to the lab for IVF or artificial insemination procedures, the mashgiach is present to ensure that no exchanges occur in the processing. After processing of the sperm sample in the laboratory, the mashgiach hands the sperm sample directly to the husband or couple, who then provide it to the physician when the insemination is to be performed.

Additionally, the hashgachah at Genesis involves exclusive access to the incubators in which the fertilized eggs are placed prior to transfer in an IVF cycle, and to the liquid nitrogen storage tanks in which the sperm samples are kept prior to fertilization. There are dedicated incubators and storage tanks for couples using hashgacha, the keys to which are exclusively in the possession of the mashgiach. A seal with an embossed insignia of Rabbi Friedlander provides an additional layer of protection against tampering. The mashgiach is responsible for servicing the storage tanks to ensure that proper levels of liquid nitrogen are maintained, since no one else has access to these dedicated tanks.
Hashgachah is provided for ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). Hashgachah is not provided for any case involving a sperm donor. In select cases where approval was obtained by a competent rabbinic authority, hashgachah is provided for egg donor procedures.

The following clinics utilize the hashgachah services of:
Procreative Consultants of Bikur Cholim
under the Directorship of
Rabbi Aron S. Jacobowitz
718- 387-8523, Fax: 718-387-8786
147 Heyward Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Procreative Consultants provides in person supervision for IVF and artificial insemination procedures including: laboratory washings of samples, loading catheters with sperm or fertilized eggs, placement of fertilized eggs in incubators, and cryopreservation. For egg retrievals and preembryo transfers, a mashgiach checks the procedure room prior to the procedure to ensure that no inappropriate samples are present. The mashgiach then positions himself in the adjacent laboratory with the door to the procedure room open. He is able to hear the patient confirm her identity when asked to do so by the physician. (This occurs as part of a protocol when the embryologist hands the sample to the physician.) Female supervisors are also available. Procreative Consultants does not provide hashgachah for any ART procedure involving donor sperm or donor eggs.

1) The Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore - Long Island Jewish Hospitals
David Rosenfeld, MD , Director
300 Community Drive
Manhasset, NY 11030
516 562 2229

2) New York University Program for IVF, Reproductive Surgery and Infertility
Alan S. Berkeley, MD, Director, Division of IVF
James A. Grifo, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology
Nicole Noyes, MD
Frederick Licciardi, MD
660 First Avenue New York, NY 10016

3) The Cornell Institute For Reproductive Medicine/Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility
Zev Rosenwaks, MD, Director
505 East 70th Street, Suite 340 New York, NY 10021
212-746-1762, 888-703-3456

A brief note regarding the above program: The arrangement at Cornell is quite unique. There is a dedicated laboratory under hashgachah which is not shared by the general patient population. The hashgachah is provided via closed circuit television monitors outside the lab, which are accessible to the mashgiach at all times. The monitors can be focused to allow the mashgiach accurate visual access to any manipulation and handling of samples at work stations inside the lab. The same visualization technology is used to monitor the incubators.

4) Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York
Lawrence Grunfeld, MD, Director
Alan B. Copperman, MD, Co-Director
635 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor New York, NY 10022

5) American Fertility Services
Nabil Husami, MD, Director
The Galleria, 115 East 57th Street, Suite 500 New York, NY 10022

6) Medical Center for Human Reproduction
Norbert Gleicher, MD, Director
21 East 69th Street New York, NY 10021

7) Center for Women's Reproductive Care at Columbia University
Mark Sauer, MD, Division Chief, Reproductive Endocrinology
1790 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10019
212-305-9175, 646-756-8282

8) Sher Institute For Reproductive Medicine-NYC
Geoffrey Sher, MD, Executive Medical Director
Joel Batzofin, MD, Medical Director
425 5th Avenue New York, NY 10016
646-792-7476; 800-780-7437

9) New England Fertility Institute
Gad Lavi, MD, Director
1275 Summer Street, Suite 201 Stamford, Connecticut 06905

Hashgachah with Procreative Consultants is presently pending for the following program:
10) Reproductive Endocrinology Associates
Daniel Stein, MD, Director
425 West 59th Street, Suite 4G New York, NY 10019

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Copyright © 2012 Deena Zimmerman. All rights reserved.