The Israel Electric Corporation announced on Tuesday that its workers union would provide a grant of NIS 30,000 to any of its employees who are going through the surrogacy process.
The announcement was made on Israel's Family Day, marked on the 30th of the Hebrew month of Shvat, which is meant to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Henrietta Szold, founder of the Hadassah women's organization. Family Day replaced Mother's Day in Israel in the 1990s.
"We are also marking Family Day today with a groundbreaking decision: proud couples, male and female employees of the Electric Corporation who have started the surrogacy process, will receive a grant of NIS 30,000 from the workers' union. We hope that other public companies will join this important move," wrote the Israel Electric Corporation on Tuesday.
The mascots of the Electric Corporation, named Sheka and Teka in Hebrew or "socket" and "plug" in English, have a baby in company commercials and are commonly rumored to be a gay couple in Israeli pop culture, although the Electric Corporation has never confirmed or denied the rumors.
Surrogacy, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community, was a hot topic in Israel in 2018, when protests and strikes swept the country after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to support an amendment to a surrogacy law making gay couples eligible for state-supported surrogacy in Israel, but subsequently voted against the proposed amendment after haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties reportedly threatened to topple the government.
Currently, married heterosexual couples and single women are eligible for state-supported surrogacy. Single men and gay couples are not eligible.