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Kin, Gene, Community: Reproductive Technologies among Jewish Israelis

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Volume 19

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

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Kin, Gene, Community

Reproductive Technologies among Jewish Israelis

Edited by Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli and Yoram S. Carmeli

344 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-688-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2010)

eISBN 978-1-84545-836-2 eBook

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Israel is the only country in the world that offers free fertility treatments to nearly any woman who requires medical assistance. It also has the world's highest per capita usage of in-vitro fertilization. Examining state policies and the application of reproductive technologies among Jewish Israelis, this volume explores the role of tradition and politics in the construction of families within local Jewish populations. The contributors—anthropologists, bioethicists, jurists, physicians and biologists—highlight the complexities surrounding these treatments and show how biological relatedness is being construed as a technology of power; how genetics is woven into the production of identities; how reproductive technologies enhance the policing of boundaries. Donor insemination, IVF and surrogacy, as well as abortion, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and human embryonic stem cell research, are explored within local and global contexts to convey an informed perspective on the wider Jewish Israeli environment.

Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli is a medical sociologist at the University of Haifa, Israel. Her research concentrates on reproduction-related issues and the interface of health care and state politics. Birenbaum-Carmeli has published extensively in major professional journals and is the author of Tel Aviv North: The Making of a New Israeli Middle Class (Hebrew University Press) and the co-editor (with Marcia C. Inhorn) of Assisting Reproduction, Testing Genes: Global Encounters with New Biotechnologies (Berghahn Books).

Yoram S. Carmeli is an anthropologist at the University of Haifa, Israel, who has researched reproductive technologies in Israel. His other writings focus on popular culture with a particular interest in British circuses. He has also researched sport and consumption in Israel. Carmeli is the co-editor (with Kalman Applbaum) of Consumption and Market Society in Israel (Berg Publishers).

Subject: Medical Anthropology
Area: Middle East & Israel


List of Tables and Figures

Introduction: Reproductive Technologies among Jewish Israelis: Setting the Ground
Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli and Yoram S. Carmeli


Chapter 1. The Contribution of Israeli Researchers to Reproductive Medicine: Fertility Experts' Perspectives
Shlomo Mashiach, Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli, Roy Mashiach and Martha Dirnfeld

Chapter 2. The Regulation of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Sibling Donors in Israel, Germany and England: A Comparative Look at Balancing Risks and Benefits
Yael Hashiloni-Dolev and Shiri Shkedi

Chapter 3. The Man in the Sperm: Kinship and Fatherhood in Light of Male Infertility in Israel
Helene Goldberg

Chapter 4. The Last Outpost of the Nuclear Family: A Cultural Critique of Israeli Surrogacy Policy
Elly Teman

Chapter 5. Adoption and Assisted reproduction Technologies: A Comparative Reading of Israeli Policies
Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli and Yoram S. Carmeli


Chapter 6. Genetic Testing and Screening in Religious Groups: Perspectives of Jewish Haredi Communities
Barbara Prainsack and Gil Siegal

Chapter 7. Ultrasonic Challenges to Pronatalism
Tsipi Ivry

Chapter 8. Abortion Committees as Agents of Eugenics: Medical and Public Views on Selective Abortion following Mild or Likely Fetal Pathology
Nitzan Rimon-Zarfaty and Aviad Raz

Chapter 9. Cultural Values in Action: The Israeli Approach to Human Cloning
Gali Ben-Or and Vardit Ravitsky


Chapter 10. Art, Community and Beyond: Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Israel
Interviews with Prof. Nissim Benvenisty and Prof. karl Skorecki Interviewer: Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli

Chapter 11. Medicine and the State. The Medicalization of Reproduction in Israel
Yali Hashash-Daniel

Chapter 12. The Mirth of the Clinic: The Banality of Conception in an Israeli Fertility Clinic
Susan M. Kahn

Chapter 13. Between Reproductive Citizenship and Consumerism: Attitudes Towards Assisted Reproductive Technologies among Jewish and Arab Israeli Women
Larissa Remennick

Chapter 14. Ethnography, Exegesis, and Jewish Ethical Reflection: The New Reproductive Technologies in Israel
Don Seeman

Notes on Contributors

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