Our Top Eight Achievements of 2017

Leading up to #GivingTuesday, A Wider Bridge shared our eight greatest achievements of the past year. Modeled after the eight days of Chanukah, we celebrate the miracles of our work and its widespread reach and impact.

Will you honor our work, and make a recurring, tax-deductible donation to support A Wider Bridge?

Day One: Chicago Dyke March mobilization

In June, AWB’s Midwest Manager, Laurie Grauer along with two other women, were expelled from the Chicago Dyke March for carrying Jewish Pride Flags. In response, A Wider Bridge sent out a petition demanding an apology from the Dyke March, which garnered over 14,000 signatures, and over 60 articles and opinion pieces were published around the world. Sadly, despite the global outcry and multiple offers made by AWB staff and local envoys to come together, the Chicago Dyke March Collective remains steadfast in their decision, and continues to use language akin to anti-Semitic groups to defend their stance.

Even in the face of such hate, AWB worked with Jewish and LGBTQ leaders to find ways to promote international advocacy, cultural understanding, and community healing. These initiatives included launching an online campaign to support The Aguda’s LGBTQ Refugee program, and a Chicago-based listening tour that culminated at a community meeting at Temple Sholom Chicago.

Day 2: TLVFest BDS fight- raised $20,000
In direct response to weeks of attacks by pro-Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) activists on Israel’s LGBTQ community, A Wider Bridge launched a crowdfunding campaign which exceeded its goal in raising over $20,000 to support TLVFest, Tel Aviv’s International LGBTQ Film Festival.

Day 3:  Adoption letter mobilization
In response to the growing controversy in Israel regarding adoption by same-sex couples, A Wider Bridge organizedpublic letter signed by nearly 200 Jewish Community Leaders from across America in support of same-sex adoption in Israel.  AWB called upon the Israeli ministries to treat the country’s same-sex families and would-be parents with the equality they deserve. The state committed to introduce legislation that would equalize the adoption rights of same-sex couples by June 2018.

Day 4: AWB Impact brought the LGBTQ Israeli Orthodox Delegation to the US to share their work, and raised  $5,000 for the “Our Faces” campaign.

Zehorit Sorek and Daniel Jonas, leaders of Bat Kol and Havruta, Israeli Religious LGBTQ Organizations, toured the US to share their organizations’ work changing attitudes in religious communities across Israel, fighting homophobia and hurtful tools like conversion therapy, and cultivating the flourishing LGBT religious communities and events that exist today in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and across the State of Israel. The tour raised funds for the “Our Faces” campaign which put a public face on LGBTQ Orthodox Israelis.

Day 5: A Wider Bridge Impact brought The Meeting Place Delegation to the US and raised $7500 to support this important organization.

AWB Impact brought the The Meeting Place Delegation to five US cities to share their work, and raised $7,500 to support this important organization.. The Meeting Place fosters Jerusalem to be a “community of communities”, a pluralistic society with all sectors of society – LGBTQ and straight, religious and secular, Jewish, Muslim and Christian – building bridges of communication.

Day 6:  Our LGBTQ Pride Mission to Israel 2017 brought 30 American LGBTQ leaders to Israel 

Prominent figures taking part in our trip this year included Evan Wolfson, founder and leader of The Freedom to Marry campaign, writer and comedian H. Alan Scott, whose trip to Israel is a part of a documentary , and Muslim LGBTQ activist and writer Nadiya Al-Noor, who has expressed support for Israel and for a fruitful relationships between Jews and Muslims many times in the past.

Day 7: AWB Pushed back on JVP after they harassed and disrupted LGBTQ youth at the Celebrate Israel Parade

After Jewish Voice for Peace attempted to sabotage the Celebrate Israel Parade, A Wider Bridge pushed back with an editorial campaign which condemned JVP’s bullying tactics and biases. We pointed out the dangerous myth of Israeli pinkwashing and how JVP actions targeted LGBTQ youth at the parade.

Day 8: AWB Olivia Mission the first-ever lesbian Delegation to Israel

A Wider Bridge partnered with the Olivia lesbian travel company and brought queer women on a 10-day mission to Israel to experience the country through an LGBTQ lens. Check out the trip’s photoblog, because every picture is a thousand words.