Michal Eden

MichalEdenSqMichal Eden is an Israeli attorney and a leading activist for LGBT rights in Israel. She is a former Tel Aviv City Councilwoman from the Meretz party, a political and social activist who is associated mainly with LGBT and feminist struggles.

Eden is a partner in the law firm of Ira Hadar and Michal Eden, specializing in LGBT rights and the legal status of the variety of alternative families. The firm provides legal services to the members of the LGBT community in a variety of areas, including surrogacy, gay relationships, LGBT parenting, adoption, guardianship, settling the status of foreign spouses, economic rights in the field of work and pensions. As part of her legal activity, Michal has led the fight for groundbreaking precedents for the LGBT community in Israel.

Michal Eden was born in 1969 in Herzliya. At the age of 22, she began to volunteer at the Aguda, where she was introduced to the organization KLAF (feminist lesbian community). Eden also volunteered at the victims of sexually assaulted women’s center. After the assassination of Rabin, Michal Eden decided to join Meretz and began her political activity within the women of Meretz and at the LGBT forum of the party.

In 1998 she was elected to second place in the Meretz list for Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council, which eventual gave her a spot on the Council after the municipal elections.

As a City Council member Michal Eden managed to organize the only rally in memory of victims of the October riots, perpetuate women leaders for street names in Tel Aviv, and to initiate a women’s quota on corporate boards of directors of the municipality. In addition, she managed to bring same sex equality to the couples registry in municipal services, which annoyed the religious population in the city and was a precedent, for it was the first time that a local authority in Israel recognized same-sex couples.

The largest of Eden’s projects in the municipality was “Beit Dror” Neve Tzedek, an LGBT youth hostel for those who were expelled from their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender affiliation, an institution that was funded by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa and the Ministry of Social Affairs. The kids can stay in the house up to age 18, while the authorities try to bridge and renew contact with their families. In addition, the home took care of keeping the youth within the framework of studies or work.

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