Zionism, Judaism, relationships and LGBT pride are just some of the reasons that led dozens of LGBT Jews from around the world to immigrate to Israel and fulfill their life here. Tomorrow (Friday) they’re going to march in Tel Aviv Pride (and you’re welcome to join them)
They moved to Israel to demonstrate their pride, precisely at a time when the LGBT community in Israel almost canceled its annual gay pride parade, and despite the country’s non-recognition of equal rights for LGBT people to get married and to enjoy surrogacy and other rights, and in a year when the community organizations struggle for funds.
At the LGBT Center in Tel Aviv classes are being held weekly called “Qulpan” for LGBT immigrants (AKA LGBT Olim), so that they can experience both immigration and pride. Some of them, who come from countries where they have equal rights and recognition like any other citizen, try to explain what led them to leave these countries and move to Israel, despite the inequality which the community suffers in Israel. The LGBT Olim indicate an internal struggle between their Zionism and Jewish Religious Preference, and their sexual and gender identity.
This Friday, the LGBT Olim and LGBT English-speakers groups will march together at the Tel Aviv Pride and will also have a stall together with a volunteer from the Jewish agency. “Our goal is to attract new Olim and let them know about LGBT Olim and the English-speakers groups and to get them to sign up to the monthly LGBT Olim newsletter,” explains Roy Freeman, the man behind the LGBT Olim and the English Speakers groups. “We also want to give visitors who are interested in moving to Israel permanently an opportunity to ask questions and talk to us.”
For those who want to chill after the march, the English-speaking LGBT group will meet for an afternoon at Suzana Cafe in Neve Tzedek.
The next phase of these Tel Aviv groups are planning to grow into a country-wide network to build a community of LGBT English-speakers (Olim, Israelis and visitors), holding a couple of events each month in each location. “I’ve spent the last few weeks working with people in Haifa and Be’er Sheva to start LGBT English-speakers groups in those locations and I’m planning to get the Jerusalem group restarted too,” reveals Freeman, “in every city we have events in June and I’m planning to work with the locals in each city to ensure that this continues.”