Pater: My Father, My Judaism, My Childlessness A multi-layered memoir | Purchase at Amazon (available also in Kindle) Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, Goodreads, or ask your brick and mortar bookseller to order.
Book Clubs - I am delighted to discuss The Pater via Skype or in person. firstname.lastname@example.org
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 make their children part
of our circle rather than a factor that separates us from them.
Clearly, sometimes friendships among children lead to their
parents becoming friends. And there are scores and scores of child-specific experiences that my
friends have that I can't share. That's alright.
Yet true friends and sensitive people
generally have the inter-personal skills needed to include childless singles or couples in their lives.
What's important is that the chemistry of friendship remains
evolve and when the chemistry of friendship keeps up with the times -- the friendships survive.
look back at the past 20 years or so, there have been people who orbited out of
my friendship circle. Some because of geographic distance. Some because the
friendship was tenuous to begin with. Some just because life is hectic and you
can retain only so many friends! Especially if, like me, you are not a shmoozer on the telephone.
But I can't think of an instance where a
friendship I wanted to preserve was the casualty of a couple having children.
answer would be different if I were in my 20s, but that's my experience. What's
The metro Tel Aviv launch of The Pater book will be held at Habayit Shel Benji on Tuesday March 15.
Tel Aviv-based journalist, Algemeiner web editor and Israel Hayom & Jerusalem Post columnist Ruthie Blum will be in conversation with Elliot
Jager. For security reasons, you need to RSVP, so please reserve your seat/s by sending email to
name, cellphone number and names of people attending with you; we will confirm
receipt of your email and provide further details.
from book sales will be donated to Habayit
Liberty Barnes, University of Cambridge sociologist & author: "Jager has created a new genre of storytelling. Masterfully weaving together autobiography, genealogy, demography, politics, Bible stories, and interviews, Jager explores the cultural meanings of fatherlessness and childlessness in the notably pro-family context of modern Judaism. With fitting skepticism and good humor, Jager shakes his fist at God unti…