The Jewish Agency has decided to grant $11,000 loan to employees of the organization who decide to search for a pregnancy surrogate overseas. The initiative was led by chairman Isaac Herzog, who sought to acknowledge the right of each employee dream of having a family, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status.
The Jewish Agency is one of the largest non-profit organizations in Israel, employing around 1,250 people, of whom around 450 are Israeli emissaries who serve for several years in Jewish communities around the world in an effort to deepen connections between Israel and diaspora Jewry.
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The decision’s main beneficiaries will be gay male couples, who are prohibited by Israeli law from using surrogacy services in Israel. Therefore they turn to potential surrogates who live abroad. However, overseas surrogacy is not covered by Israeli health insurance providers and can cost hundreds of thousands of shekels.
The loan will amount to around 40,000 NIS ($11,000) per employee and is intended for the purpose of medical procedures before surrogacy, and for the process of surrogacy itself. And, of course, to express the organization’s support for this complex process.
Additionally, The Jewish Agency said that any child born to an emissary through surrogacy while the emissary is serving overseas will be entitled to all benefits normally given to children of emissaries.
Mr. Herzog said that “we are also making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal.”