Thursday, 5 January 2012

Immaculate conception?

Bonei - CopyBonei Olam (Builders of the Universe) is a charity that provides financial assistance to infertile couples. It is an international charity headquartered in New York with all the fundraising gimmickry we have become accustomed to in these types of chareidi organisations. Garish brochures, hair-raising stories, hysterical calls by the ‘gedoilim’ accompanied by every sentimental cliché decency and common sense should have prevented them from including. Intended to tug at potential donors’ heart, and purse, strings they usually induce severe bouts of nausea if not outright disgust.

The organisations tend to tell you everything there is to know about themselves except for that delicate thing called money. Generally, funds are raised to be spent immediately as we don’t really do long term. Featuring a supposed orphan with mock tears crying for the bread your money will supposedly buy is far more effective than telling you how your donation might cure malaria or cancer ten years hence.Giving people fish rather than teaching them how to fish is our preferred route to salvation and even then knowing how many fish have been raised and how much is syphoned off for commission is classified information.

In this case, due to the ‘sensitive’ nature of infertility –I mean we chareidim don’t quite do that, do we?- discreet meetings are arranged at private homes for men of means with leaflets tailored to whoever their godel happens to be. At the meeting a well laid ambush is set up with high-pressure tactics to get you to sign up for a direct debit. Those who pledged £1000 will tonight be wined and dined at a specially laid on dinner for the larger donors.

The leaflet heading is marked ‘London’ and the impression is that money raised locally is used for couples in this country. The footnote on the leaflet contains an exhortation not to discuss the matter in public so I shan’t say anything other than ask how necessary financial assistance for infertility is in this country where we’re blessed with the NHS? True, there may be a wait but with couples marrying in their teens what exactly is the hurry? Surely it’s not written in the scriptures that morning sickness is part of a couple’s bonding ritual during their first months while getting to know each other.

We also have a home grown charity Chana which although it carries out its work with less fanfare it is no less effective for that. It hosts public information events with professionals and also provides counselling. It is run on the whole by women though there are male support workers too and counselling is also provided in Yiddish. It relies less on the gedoilim nonsense which is a good idea as when it comes to reproduction gedoilim can be something of a turn off.

My point however is Bonei Olam’s logo of a single person, which looks male though it could possibly be a female with trousers, conjuring out of thin air an entire chareidi family albeit slightly on the small side. Difficult to tell how they do it. Perhaps the gedoilim can manage even miracles unknown hitherto since the days of Joseph and Mary or maybe they provide a cloning facility. If we can have Dolly the sheep why not Tuli, or Chaim, the kid?


Anonymous said...

I'm disgusted how anyone can knock this organisation, I've been involved personaly with the organisers of this wonderful organisation, unlike other organisations, "all" of them work totaly voluntary, every penny helps childless couples have children! I have donated, and I know many, many childless couples who without Boinei Olam, would still be childless. How dare anyone speak against them, you propably have children, and no Jewish heart, or no apreciation for what you have, and don't care if others don't have!!!

kafke said...

Mr Anonymous, perhaps you should learn to spell better.

RightousGentile said...

What a mean spirited and evil individual you are.

I sincerely hope karma comes to bite you in the ass.

Anonymous said...

While I love reading your blog, this post is wrong. Nhs do not provide the same level of treatments as they do in Israel for example. Most charities have hard working people behind them doing it for the sake of the Mitzvah. Having a few questions about the running of it, does not mean you can bash it.

I was hoping and waiting for a blog regarding the whole "Matzav" in Israel.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Bonei Olam are not satisfied with the Rabbinic authority of Chanah, is that correct?

Anonymous said...

What about Hatsoloh? We have a free NHS London Ambulance too.

Rachel said...

I can confirm what Anonymous said about Israel having a higher level of free high standard treatments than the NHS, particularly in IVF.

I can't help wonder if it is better for a poor Jewish couple that need fertility treatment to just come to Israel, take out Israeli citizenship, live here and get free IVF on the state than to go to a charity to pay some doctor privately in London.
I suspect the flight and living expenses would be less than what some British doctors would charge??

...And they'ed get the chance to live in Israel and their money would go into the Israeli economy instead of paying some overpaid British doctor who charges by the minute.

Anonymous said...

I am pained and hurt by this article.
I do not know of a single individual who would allow themselves to be plagued with calls 24 hours a day, be occupied day and night trying to settle bills and coming up with the necessary funds just for the kick of it.. when couples can go to the NHS. Your article drips of ignorance and oblivion,
To answer your queries the NHS do not pay for much, if anything, and have extremely low success rates, why put yourself through all that for disappointment.
Chana do not fund treatments for couples but rather offer support and advice, whether they know their stuff ???
I honestly wonder why your mother gave birth to you, maybe because the Gedolim said so? Gedolim being a part of our life and rulings perhaps you are smart enough to rule differently?

I sincerely feel sorry for your family particularly if your kids (if you’re lucky / unlucky enough to have them) are just clones of you.