A Big Lift as Joel Alter Becomes a Dad

For: Joel Alter
New York, NY
Organizer: Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow
of $40,000 goal.
Raised by 255 donors
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The Story

Joel Alter is expecting twins this winter with the help of a surrogate mother.

Joel is 49 years old, a single gay man, rabbi, son, brother, uncle, friend, teacher, good cook, and hiker. He's always wanted to be a father, though he deferred that hope for a long time. In anticipation of a child, Joel wrote: "I adore children. When I encounter them I try to connect and play with them. I delight in the puzzle of kids and am moved by their needs. The opportunity to be there for a child and guide her or him in life, to witness the child’s discovery of the world and relearn the world through a child’s eyes, to introduce and explain and uncover the world, to wrestle with right and wrong, to be proud of my child’s development and accomplishments … these most basic motivations of parenting all feel natural to me. It’s more than 30 years since I internalized the sacred aspiration of raising up a child into Jewish community and tradition. Even after all this time, for me being a parent is an essential part of being the person I aspire to be, and bringing up children is what I feel called to do."

After pursuing adoption but learning that it would be an unknowably long path to fatherhood, Joel considered surrogacy. Serendipity struck, and he was introduced to a wonderful, experienced surrogate mother in Texas named Brittany whom he has come to know and like and respect deeply. Brittany is pregnant, has cleared the first trimester and, God willing, expects to deliver Joel’s children in February.

Surrogacy is expensive. Accounting for all associated costs, this birth process requires well over $80,000. Joel reserved funds for this purpose for many years. These funds and other personal allocations allow him to carry well over half the total cost himself, and his family is generously providing additional support. Hopefully a broader circle can lighten Joel's financial burden as the Alters start on their way. 

Thank you for considering supporting Joel as he welcomes children into his life!

PS - If you wish to send an offline donation, please contact the organizer at the link below.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 9, 2017

Posted on February 9, 2017

With special thanks and appreciation for people on this list.

On the third day, God created twice. First, God made life on this earth possible, and then immediately generated new life upon it. God pronounced each act good. Ever since, the Jewish people have recognized Tuesdays as doubly good, especially auspicious days.

I am doubly thrilled to express to you my joy and to God my joyful gratitude over the birth today, Tuesday, February 7th of my twin daughters, in Austin Texas. They were born at 5 lb 15 oz / 18.75" and 5 lb 12 oz / 19". I find the girls terribly cute. Don't you?

Brittany Thornton, my surrogate, literally embodies nurturing love and generosity.

I've named my daughters Ayelet Ori and Annael Dora. They will receive their Hebrew names (spoiler alert - same as their English names!) at a mikveh when I return to New York.

Stay tuned for a covenant ceremony next month.

Hodu l'Adonai Ki Tov.

Posted on November 2, 2016

Posted on November 2, 2016

Dear Friends,
Those of you on Facebook have already seen, but here's an update: On Thursday morning, October 27 I was back in Texas to attend Brittany's anatomy scan - the uber ultrasound that measures everything that can be measured from the outside, up to and including the distinct sound of each of the four chambers of both hearts. Whoa. When the technician said she was going to measure the babies' bellies, I was enthusiastic, so long as she didn't measure mine. Bottom line: everything looks normal. These will be - God willing - two girls. They are currently within 1 oz of one another in weight and developing normally. 
Next trip to Texas I expect to be in February. Target date for a C-Section is February 20th. Coming very soon!
In the meantime, I remain head-shakingly grateful to all of you who have so generously contributed to this effort. It's a lot you're doing. I'm feeling very encouraged.
Thank you!

Posted on October 1, 2016

Posted on October 1, 2016

Dear Ones,
This Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur I'll be thinking on becoming a parent. How many themes in the mahzor will take one new and deeper meaning for me in the new year?! I'll be thinking, too, on the gift of your support and encouragement. In your generosity, you emulate the sustenance of the One. 
With deep gratitude, thank you, and L'shana Tova to you all.
Love,  Joel

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