A gay Jewish man has been shocked to have a same sex couple reject his sperm donation due to his being a pro-Israel Jew.
Jay Lazarus, a Perth hairdresser, started the process of donating sperm a year ago to help a childless lesbian couple in Queensland start a family.
The process was intense, with months of medical tests and emotional counselling, plus extra vitamins and a commitment to maintain his health.
The donation was ready late last year, but after October 7 2023, everything changed, with the couple ending the agreement because of his Jewishness.
They told him, “We are sad for Israeli’s, and we are sad for the Palestinian people, so deeply sad. We don’t have the capacity to navigate parts of your identity in this donor relationship, so we are respectfully ending this now.”
Lazarus insists that the sperm recipients, who he prefers not to identify, knew from day one that he was a Jew.
“After October 7 I started sharing a lot of pro-Israel material on social media and from what I understand, the couple didn’t like that,” he said.
He said that the couple had been influenced by what they’d been told about the conflict between Israel and Hamas and preferred to go back to square one of the sperm donor process rather than accept his Jewish sperm.
“I think it’s classic antisemitism” he said.
Lazarus believes as a result of this experience that antisemitism is not just a relic of the past but a living, breathing prejudice that continues today.
But he’s encouraged by the response to what’s happened from the Jewish community in Australia and overseas.
“The responses have just been absolutely sensational, people around the entire world have reached out to me. I’ve had Rabbis message me with support, everybody is basically telling me they’re in shock, they can’t believe what has happened,” Lazarus said.
He says since October 7, one member of his own family has taken his mezuzah off his front door and put it inside, and some of his friends are wearing their Jewish stars underneath their shirts, but he believes Jews should do the opposite.
“Don’t hide being Jewish. Wear your Magen David, wear them proud, don’t hide anything. Be proud to be Jewish – I am and I’m gay as well and I’m even more proud now to be Jewish,” Lazarus said.