DEVELOPING STORY: AWB at Creating Change

A Wider Bridge Reception at the National LGBTQ Task Force Canceled… Later Reinstated After Community Mobilization, 1,400+ Petition Signers… Detractors Expected to Protest at the Event

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In the Days Ahead: #CreatingChangeNotHate

Our Reception has been reinstated at site of the Conference, in a room twice the size. a significant number of extremists, unsatisfied with their failures and with the Task Force’s commitment to full inclusion, are expected to disrupt our event Friday night.

Locals encouraged to attend: Register Here

Past Story Highlights

Last week, the Task Force announced that it had canceled a A Wider Bridge’s LGBT Israel reception at its annual Creating Change conference. Headlining the evening were representatives from Jerusalem Open House, an LGBT community center that serves a diverse array of constituencies, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs among them.

Caving to pressure from a handful of anti-Israel extremists, the Task Force withdrew its sponsorship and kicked A Wider Bridge’s reception out of the conference.

After a mass mobilization, including a change.org petition (1400 + signatures), outreach to the press and statements by respected community leaders (a special thank you to Dana Beyer, Roberta Kaplan and Rep. Jared Polis, among others), and countless calls from the community to Task Force board members and directors,  The Task Force reversed their decision in a public apology, and A Wider Bridge released a subsequent statement thanking them for their inclusion.

Jump to: Public Statements | Comments and Commentaries | Full Coverage

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PUBLIC STATESMENTS

 ADL-logo-300x300ADL: “The Anti-Defamation League welcomes the National LGBTQ Task Force’s reversal of its decision to cancel a reception for Israeli gay group Jerusalem’s Open House at their upcoming annual ‘Creating Change’ conference.” read the full statesment

RAC-Featured-1RELIGION ACTION CENTER OF REFORM JUDAISM: “On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis, I write to commend you for your renewed commitment to holding a reception sponsored by A Wider Bridge and featuring the Jerusalem Open House at your convention this week.” read the full statement

Logo black NIFNEW ISRAEL FUND: “The New Israel Fund thanks the organizers of Creating Change Conference for reversing course and reinstating the event sponsored by A Wider Bridge and featuring the activists from Jerusalem Open House. In acknowledging its error, the conference organizers bravely wrote that their venue will always be a safe space for inclusion and dialogue for people with often widely different views.” read the full statement

Keshet logoKESHET: “Keshet today praised the decision by the National LGBTQ Task Force to reinstate a Shabbat reception hosted by A Wider Bridge, featuring leaders from Jerusalem Open House, the Israeli LGBTQ community and advocacy organization, at this week’s Creating Change conference in Chicago.” read the full statement

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COMMENTS AND COMMENTARIES

JARED POLIS, CONGRESSMAN:

1_123125_123054_2207789_2212650_090304_pol_quigleytn.jpg.CROP.original-originalMIKE QUIGLEY, CONGRESSMAN: “I am pleased that A Wider Bridge will be allowed to hold their reception at this week’s Creating Change conference in Chicago. It’s important to discuss homophobia, racism, transphobia, and other forms of bigotry within a very diverse population. As Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I fully support hearing from all voices promoting LGBTQ rights.”

ROBERTA KAPLAN, ATTORNEY:

JamesKirchicksqJAMES KIRCHICK, JOURNALIST: “As I write this, ISIS is hunting gay men to toss from the rooftops of Raqaa, and nearly 80 countries proscribe homosexuality. Yet for a 36-hour period earlier this week, the National LGBTQ Task Force chose to ally itself not with the one country in the Middle East that guarantees and protects the human rights of LGBTQ people, but with those who hang them from construction cranes.” read the full article
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FULL COVERAGE

January 21: How Intersectionality Makes You Stupid. Tablet Magazine
January 20: Keshet Applauds National LGBTQ Task Force. Keshet Online
January 19: National LGBTQ group reverses decision to cancel event with Jerusalem activists. JTA
January 19: Why lefty Israel-bashing is bad for the gays New York Post
January 19: Group reverses decision to cancel reception with Israeli activists Washington Blade
January 19: Task Force reverses cancellation of Israel-focused Creating Change event Windy City Times
January 19: American LGBTQ organization reverses cancellation of event with Israeli group JNS
January 19: ADL praises LGBTQ group’s reversal on invite for Israelis Times of Israel
January 19: LGBTQ group: Event with Jerusalem activists canceled due to anti-Israel pressure United Jewish Federation
January 19: American LGBT Organization Reverses Cancelation of Event with Israeli Counterparts Algemeiner
January 19: National LGBTQ group reverses decision to cancel event with Jerusalem activists Jewish Journal
January 19: American LGBTQ group cancels event with Israelis, later backtracks The Times of Israel
January 19: LGBTQ Task Force Reverses Boycott of Israeli LGBTQ Community Group Reception Jspace
January 19: National LGBTQ Task Force will hold event with Israeli activists Spectrum
January 19: Reform Leader Commends LGBTQ Task Force for Reversing Decision to Cancel Reception with Israeli Group Religion Action Center
January 19: U.S. LGBTQ Conference Backtracks on Banning Jewish Event With Israeli Gays Haaretz
January 19: Why was a Jewish LGBTQ group removed, then reinstated, at Creating Change? Americablog
January 19: US LGBTQ group backtracks, will hold event with Israeli leaders Jerusalem Post
January 19: LGBTQ Task Force Reinstates Wider Bridge Reception Jewschool
January 19: National LGBTQ Task Force Reinvites Jewish and Israeli Groups To Conference Tablet magazine
January 19: American Jewish Group Banned for LGBTQ Shindig Over Ties to Israel The Media Line
January 19: Gay Avek — National LGBTQ Task Force Cancels Reception of Israeli Homosexuals Jewish Press
January 19: US LGBTQ group cancels event with Israeli gay leaders The Times of Israel
January 19: National LGBTQ Task Force cancels event with Israeli gay leaders JTA
January 19: LGBTQ group bows to pressure from pro-Palestinians, cancels event with Israeli gay leader Jerusalem Post
January 18: Gay Jewish Group With Israel Ties Booted From LGBT Conference in Pinkwashing Feud The Forward
January 18: “Pride in Israel” discussion was Canceled in a Short Notice in Chicago Mako Pride
January 18: Statement on Cancellation of a “Wider Bridge” Event by LGBTQ Task Force New Israel Fund
January 18: Israel-focused Jewish Group Booted From Major LGBTQ Event in the U.S. Haaretz
January 18: LGBT group cancels conference reception with Israeli activists Washington Blade
January 18: Famed LGBT Voices Blast Task Force For Banning Jewish Event From Creating Change Conference O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da
January 18: Creating Change? LGBT Task Force Cancels Israeli Event WDG
January 17: The National LGBTQ Task Force Censors the Jews The Huffington Post
January 17: Task Force cancels Israel-focused event Windy City Times