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Reproducing Jews: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception in Israel
     

Reproducing Jews: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception in Israel

by Susan Martha Kahn, Arjun Appadurai, Judith Farquhar
 

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ISBN-10: 0822325985

ISBN-13: 9780822325987

Pub. Date: 10/19/2000

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

There are more fertility clinics per capita in Israel than in any other country in the world and Israel has the world's highest per capita rate of in-vitro fertilization procedures. Fertility treatments are fully subsidized by Israeli national health insurance and are available to all Israelis, regardless of religion or marital status. These phenomena are not the

Overview

There are more fertility clinics per capita in Israel than in any other country in the world and Israel has the world's highest per capita rate of in-vitro fertilization procedures. Fertility treatments are fully subsidized by Israeli national health insurance and are available to all Israelis, regardless of religion or marital status. These phenomena are not the result of unusually high rates of infertility in Israel but reflect the centrality of reproduction in Judaism and Jewish culture.

In this ethnographic study of the new reproductive technologies in Israel, Susan Martha Kahn explores the cultural meanings and contemporary rabbinic responses to artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, egg donation, and surrogacy. Kahn draws on fieldwork with unmarried Israeli women who are using state-subsidized artificial insemination to get pregnant and on participant-observation in Israeli fertility clinics. Through close readings of traditional Jewish texts and careful analysis of Israeli public discourse, she explains how the Israeli embrace of new reproductive technologies has made Jewish beliefs about kinship startlingly literal. Kahn also reveals how a wide range of contemporary Israelis are using new reproductive technologies to realize their reproductive futures, from ultraorthodox infertile married couples to secular unmarried women.

As the first scholarly account of assisted conception in Israel, this multisited ethnography will contribute to current anthropological debates on kinship studies. It will also interest those involved with Jewish studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822325987
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
10/19/2000
Series:
Body, Commodity, Text
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
854,234
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

1 "The time arrived but the father didn't": A New Continuum of Israeli Conception 9

2 Not Mamzers: The Legislation of Reproduction and the "Issue" of Unmarried Women 64

3 Jewish and Gentile Sperm: Rabbinic Discourse on Sperm and Paternal Relatedness 87

4 Eggs and Wombs: The Origins of jewishness 112

5 Multiple Mothers: Surrogacy and the Location of Maternity 140

6 Consequences for Kinship 159

Conclusion: Reproducing Jews and Beyond 172

Appendixes 176

Notes 197

Bibliography 217

Index 223

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