(March 4, 2019 / JNS) The Jewish Agency for Israel has decided to grant financial loans to employees of the organization who decide to search for a pregnancy surrogate overseas, becoming the first Israeli governmental organization to offer financial assistance to its employees for procreation purposes, regardless of gender identity, marital status or sexual orientation.
According to a report by The Jerusalem Post, Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog led the initiative, which already provides overseas surrogacy aid to single women.
Overseas surrogacy is not covered Israeli national health insurance.
The loans will be available at preferential terms and low-interest rates up to NIS 40,000 ($11,000) per employee or emissary, and can be used at any point of the surrogacy process. Children born through a surrogate to an emissary anywhere in the world will be entitled to all the benefits of the children of emissaries.
Child surrogacy typically costs hundreds of thousands of shekels.
The Jewish Agency is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in Israel, employing about 1,250 people, of whom around 450 are Israeli emissaries who serve for years in Jewish communities around the world in an effort to deepen connections between Israel and Diaspora Jewry.