A Jewish family from New Jersey is selling the right to name their new-born daughter, their 9th child, for a minimum of $20,000. The offer was placed in an advertisement on the website Craigslist last week, and aimed to seal the deal before Shabbat.
The ad said the "sale" was "an excellent opportunity for someone, who did not have children, or someone looking to honor a relative etc., or even to honor someone who was killed in the Holocaust."
It also added certain rules, such as finding an appropriate Jewish and secular name for the girl. Aside from naming the child, the "buyer" will be invited "as the guest of honor to our child's Bat Mitzvah, school plays and graduation ceremonies. Plus, I will personally say the Kaddish prayer for you after your passing at 120-years-old."
A man who identified himself as the father who posted the ad spoke to JTA, providing a picture of the baby with a hospital wristband dated January 22. The ad has since been flagged for removal, but not before four inquiries were received.
The man, a schoolteacher in Lakewood, said by the 9th child "we’re out of relatives to name after. For each one, we chose another relative. We thought it might be a nice thing; there might be an elderly person who passed away or someone without any children. Whoever would do this, we would consider them like family."
The father added the funds would be used to raise the girl. "The truth is I’m not really relying on this. But I’m not really sure. I’m totally dependent on G-d and I know that He won’t abandon me."