Is it tougher being childless if you’re Jewish?

Dear friends:

I just got back from a trip to Tucson. You can read about it here. I’m exhausted and suffering from the post-trip blahs. So I am sharing some links today that you may find interesting.

1. Is it harder to be childless if you’re Jewish? This article, “No Kids, No Service” by Jodie Shupac suggests that it is:

“’You’re next’” is a phrase that is often murmured furtively at brises and baby namings. The sentiment–while often well intentioned, though sometimes patronizing–may well be familiar to many Jewish adults who don’t have children, especially those in more traditional subsets of the community.

“The operating assumption in our community seems to be that every person not only wants a baby, but should have one, and that this is the only way to lead a full and happy Jewish life.”

Read the rest.

2. Jacinda Ardern was thrashed because she got pregnant just before becoming prime minister of New Zealand. How could she possibly do the job with a baby? Former Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard and British Prime Minister Theresa May were vilified for not having children. How could they possibly understand the needs of their people if they weren’t mothers? It appears you can’t win. Read these two articles for more on the subject.

“The baby trap: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”

“Why are so many of our political leaders childless?”

3. Finally, here’s a study that shows we might live a little longer because we haven’t had children. I don’t know about the science of this, but it’s something to ponder.

“Having children ages a woman faster than smoking and being overweight

Happy spring! I promise to be back with something new next week.


4 thoughts on “Is it tougher being childless if you’re Jewish?

  1. An interesting selection of articles. I’m not sure the Jewish would have a monopoly on families that focus on children. All sorts of different religions and ethnic groups or just familial cultures put a huge emphasis on having children. In fact, I could agree and say I’ve experienced those statements that you’ve quoted just by removing the word “Jewish.”

    Jacinda is an interesting one. Here in NZ she has both been celebrated and thrashed depending on whether you’re a supporter or not. Fortunately not as badly as Julia Gillard was treated in Australia. And there will be a degree of babymania leading up to and when she gives birth. Her pregnancy has led to a number of interesting discussions in our media about society’s focus on having children and infertility, which might not have otherwise occurred, which I find very useful.

    And to read that not having children might be an advantage. My only comment is, “finally!”

    Thanks for the food for thought.


  2. May I share with your followers that I wrote a book in 2015 about childlessness from a man’s perspective?
    The Pater: My Father, My Judaism, My Childlessness
    Elliot Jager


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