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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

(l-r) Lea P. Davidson, executive director, PUAH; Dena Nierenberg; Faigy Hass, Sarah's Vintage Closet.

Dena Nerenberg and Faigy Hass with the talented models.

Just as Dena’s fashion shows have broken a new path in Jewish fundraising, PUAH has changed the way Jewish couples experience infertility. They bring together the experts in fertility treatments with the greatest poskim to make treatments accessible for every Jewish couple. The treatments that were a dream a decade ago—such as egg harvesting and in-utero medical procedures—exist now and can be accessed halachically.

“In addition to helping couples,” said Lea Davidson, executive director of PUAH, “our work creates a tremendous Kiddush Hashem. These are treatments that no one would have dreamed of even 50 years ago, yet the Torah addresses all the questions they raise. It’s a demonstration of the greatness of Halacha.”

The fashion shows Dena showcases appealed to Lea for a major reason: Dena’s models. This is not a show for the tall, size two, 20-something woman. The models are all sizes and ages. The quality that counts is the positive energy, Dena always says. A person has worth beyond her size or age. And a women’s value is beyond classification of having a child. PUAH is supportive and caring at every stage of a woman’s life,

PUAH’s cause is very close to Dena’s heart. Dena herself didn’t have a baby for the first two years of her marriage. “Of course in the scheme of things, two years is laughable,” Dena said. “Just talk to any woman who’s been waiting a decade. But still, it gave me a taste of the pain. If I had that much anguish from just that short period of infertility, imagine the pain of the woman who’s been waiting 10 years?

“I usually support causes that have to do with women and their babies,” Dena continued. “This is what I feel strongly about. And when a couple suffers from infertility, though of course it’s the couple’s problem, it’s the woman who generally suffers most. She’s the one with the friends who have baby carriages and child-centered conversations in which she cannot join. She’s the only one who doesn’t have pediatrician appointments and parent-teacher conferences.”

And Dena’s parties are for all women. This is a chance for women to take their minds off their difficulties and just have a few hours of fun.

“I said to myself, I want to make sure every woman at my party is having a blast,” said Dena. “I want you to come and enjoy yourself. I started bringing in manicurists—the best ones, from spas in the city. Sometimes we do makeovers. Other times we do wigs and hair. I want to make sure it’s not just me that’s feeling good, and not just the organization. My guests should feel like royalty—and they do! We bring in entertainment, and we usually have dancing after the fashion show. So this is great for every woman, including PUAH’s clients.”

This fashion show did not showcase your run-of-the-mill black dresses—it was a vintage fashion show headed by Faigy Hass, a vintage clothing retailer. The clothing showcased was available for sale and made great choices for unique Chanukah gifts. Every woman also received a free manicure. After the fashion show, Baila Caller turned it into a night of fun with her Jewmba class—Jewish Zumba.

In addition, Dena’s daughter, Nechie of Designs by Nechie, sold jewelry at very affordable prices. There was also a sale of amazing skin-care products from UltraLuxe, and a raffle. The event took place in the newly renovated hall at Young Israel of Midwood and there was no entrance fee.

“Come join us at our next event to help PUAH,” Dena said. “I can’t wait to pamper everyone. I want to see you leaning back in the chair, letting yourself have fun and be spoiled.”

By Chavy Helfgott