Why Is Israel Banning This U.S. Jewish Super Sperm Donor?

Ari Nagel, a math professor from Brooklyn, has sired 33 children across the U.S. But after donating his sperm to seven women in Israel, the Health Ministry has put its foot down

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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Ari Nagel, Mathematics Professor and world-renowned sperm donor
Ari Nagel, Mathematics Professor and world-renowned sperm donor Credit: Facebook
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

The Health Ministry in Jerusalem is banning the sperm of famed donor Ari Nagel from use in Israel, the New York Post reported on Saturday. Six women who received samples from Nagel can no longer access them, despite paying annual storage fees.

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Nagel, 42, a married father of three, is a prodigious purveyor of sperm, having sired 33 children in the last 10 years all over the U.S., including in Maryland, Orlando and New York City. He has also fathered babies in Israel, with 10 more on the way this year.

Ari Nagel with some of his descendants. Credit: Facebook

Coming from a six-sibling Jewish Orthodox home in New York, Nagel says he donates his seed for free to woman who can't afford a sperm bank because "I just love seeing how happy the moms and kids are."

But his resume seems to have made a negative impression on the Israeli Health Ministry. Last December, a 43-year-old woman who flew Nagel in to donate his sperm at a private clinic. After Nagel filed his contribution, the employee at the clinic destroyed the sample and told him he was not allowed to keep his sperm at the clinic. The woman later received a letter from the Health Ministry, saying it had alerted all sperm banks in the country not to store Nagel's sperm in their freezers.

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Israeli law requires donors to be anonymous, unless they sign a document stating his intention to co-parent the child with the mother. Nagel signed such a document with the woman, as well as with six other hopeful future mothers, who also had his seed frozen in Israel.

In light of this, the Health Ministry does not recognize Nagel's intent to parent the prospective progeny. As the letter it sent states: "Considering the number of women whom Mr. Nagler impregnated with his sperm it is our position that the claim of an intention to perform true joint parenthood with Mr. Nagler is not sincere or reasonable."

The samples Nagel already stored in Israel have not been destroyed. But the women, who paid $1,400 in annual fees to store them, cannot access them either. One has since decided to sue the ministry for the right to use the sperm. The case has reportedly been bounced up to the High Court of Justice after a court rejected her claim .

Working as a mathematics professor in The City University of New York, Nagel claims half of his paycheck goes to child support. It seems that despite promises, Nagler has been sued for child support five times.

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