Showing posts from 2015

Jerusalem Launch Monday February 8, 2016 in dialogue with Start Up Nation author Saul Singer Moreshet Avraham Rechov Adam 22 East Talpiot 18:30

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This page last updated Feb 2, 2016 Jerusalem Book Launch & Sale
Monday February 8, 2016 
Elliot Jager in dialogue 
with Start Up Nation author 
Saul Singer 
Moreshet Avraham Rechov 
Adam 22 
East Talpiot 18:30

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JEWISH BOOK WEEK LONDONBe Fruitful and Multiply 
Elliot Jager
in dialogue with Simon Hattenstone of The Guardian Sunday, 21 February 2016 - 11:00am 
Location: St Pancras

Price: £6.50 
In his provocative book The Pater, Elliot Jager tackles a near-taboo topic:  the Orthodox Jewish attitude towards infertility and what it feels like to be a childless Jewish man. 
In conversation with Guardian journalist Simon Hattenstone he also grapples with the concept of paternity and his complex relationship with his own father. 
 Simon Hattenstone is a feature writer and interviewer for The Guardian and has publi…

Britain's New Statesman is running a cover story on childless Leaders -- but they are all women

The current issue of the New Statesman is about childless women who are world leaders. And I'm looking forward to reading it. (Incidentally, did they forget Park Geun Hye of South Korea?)

At the same time, I'm trying to think of serving male presidents, prime ministers, and kings who are childless.

There is Pope Francis. Alright, that one is low hanging fruit.

Am I right to guess Belgium's Charles Michel does not have children?

Narendra Modi, the premier of India is childless, as far as I can see. 
So, too, is Oman's Qaboos bin Said Al Said.

Mark Rutte of Netherlands is unmarried and childless.

As is Philippines President Benigno Aquino III
Add in President of Botswana Ian Khama
Any others? 

Conversation Starter: Do you think you've lost friends because you do not have children?

Not really. Perhaps surprisingly but most of the people we socialize with have children. 
The people we feel closest to have kids and we are "invested" in the lives of their children – especially milestone events. In the old days bar and bat mitzvahs, now going into the army (most Israelis go from high-school to military or national service before even thinking about college) and weddings.
Obviously, we have drawn closer to some people and drawn away from others along the journey of life. In thinking about married friends with children the key variable has had more to do with their choice of life-partner than whether the couple has children.
Or in the case of a single parent whether this person is capable of thinking about anything beyond their parental role -- whether they can relate to others. 
The self-obsessed, socially tone-deaf, and oblivious bore me -- having nothing to do with how many kids they have or don't have.
Intuitively, our friends has mastered the ability to …

Childlessness in the News

'Elder Orphans' Are Childless Boomers who Have no one to Look After Them in old age

Some 25 percent of Americans 65 or older could find themselves "elder orphans," according to a report in Psych Central.
These are people who have no family support to fall back upon when they run into health problems leaving them to deal with the medical and social service system on their own.
"We have a sense that this will be a growing population as society ages and life expectancy increases, and our government and society need to prepare how to advocate for this population,” said physician Maria Torroella Carney, chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.
"There is potentially no structure to address this population as this population is hidden right before us," said Carney.
"Our goal is to highlight that this is a vulnerable population that's likely to increase, and we need to determine what community, social services, emergency response and educational resources can help them," Psych Centra…

Hassidic Woman in Israel Gives Birth at age 65

I loved the coverage offered by The Jewish Press, a Brooklyn-based strictly-Orthodox newspaper, that headlined its story about an Israeli ultra-Orthodox woman, aged 65, who gave birth to her first child this week:  
"Mazal Tov to 65-Year-old Mother of 'Illegal' Baby."
Israeli reproductive clinics do not generally offer free IVF treatments to women over 45 – hence the "illegal" in the headline.
The original reports appeared in the Israel Hayom and Yediot tabloids and has now been widely disseminated. So I am assuming it is true.
The woman has been identified as Hana Shahar. She is said to have given birth to the 5.9-pound boy after a C-section at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba.
Shahar had been unable to conceive throughout her 45-year-long marriage.
Her husband's name did not appear in the news coverage other than the first initial of his name -- "shin."
According to Yediot, Hana was married at age 19 (Shin was 21) and she is the oldest woman to …

Pater: One Man's Meditation on Childlessness and Fatherlessness in Jewish Civilization

May 2015
Rosh Chodesh I

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my new website.

In the coming months my book on what it means to be a childless Jewish man is scheduled to be published by Toby Press.

From the catalogue:

Part memoir and part reportage, journalist Elliot Jager tackles what has until now been an almost taboo subject: what it feels like to be a childless Jewish man.
After a 30-year estrangement from his hassidic father, a halting reconciliation is overshadowed by "the Pater's" desire that Jager father a child of his own. The Pater, as Jager calls the father who abandoned him as a child on the Lower East Side, now implores his son to visit the graves of holy men and living hassidic masters to seek Divine intervention that will end his childlessness.
Meantime, as Jager grapples with the stunningly negative attitudes Judaism maintains toward childless men, he talks to other men who do not have children—single and married, gay and straight—to share their intensely personal stories for …