Orthodox LGBTQ Community Puts Out AWB-Impact Funded Campaign

Back in January, we launched A Wider Bridge Impact, our organization fundraising arm to financially advance and support the struggle of the LGBTQ community in Israel. Our first project, The Orthodox Visibility Project, aimed to help the religious LGBTQ organizations fund a visibility campaign in the media. See the outcome!


“Our Faces, Together”

The Orthodox LGBTQ organizations’ previous attempt for a constant push for LGBT visibility in the religious world has dramatically reduced ignorance amongst the orthodox.  As a direct followup to last year’s successful media campaign “Our Faces,” the LGBTQ religious community revealed “Our Faces, Together,” a serious of ads that contain personal stories of LGBTQ religious people and their supportive loved ones. This week we started seeing the IMPACT of this project.

Dozens of religious LGBTQ people, along with their straight supporters, took part in the new campaign. The campaign shows a mother and her son, an uncle and his niece, a grandmother and her grandson, a brother and sister, stand together. The images was first released to social media, and there are plans for national print media campaign as well. Some of the ads will be shown on billboards around Jerusalem in time for the Jerusalem Pride parade in August.

“A Wider Bridge is once again proud of our Orthodox LGBTQ friends in Israel, said Deputy Director Tyler Gregory, who leads the AWB Impact campaign. “The Orthodox Visibility Project, in part funded by AWB Impact, is cutting edge work promoting understanding in one of the more challenging communities for LGBTQ Israelis. All LGBTQ Israelis – religious and secular – will benefit from a more accepting Orthodox community.”

Only a few days in, and with a plan to use some of the money to advertise in orthodox Jewish newspapers, the campaign is already gaining attention in the Israeli media. In an article on LGBTQ website WDG, the organizers of ‘Our Faces Together’ called the straight allies who photographed for the campaign “true partners in our quest for Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).”

“This campaign is another step in recognizing religious LGBTs. We came to show that we have the growing support of our families and the communities in which we live,” Daniel Jonas explained to Ynet News.

Below are two of the ads in the “Our Faces, Together” campaign (English translation below the images)

On the Right: Elik Oster, Modi’in, Physics
On the Left: Yafa Oster, Jerusalem, Study and grandmotherhood
Grandmother and grandson

Grandson:
I love her…
Recognition of what’s good. Her ability to see what’s good in the world, as a way of life and a belief conception. She has a smart way to be happy in life.

I’ll never forget that…
At the age of seven, we took a bus together, and suddenly she asked me if we, the grandchildren, were afraid of her. It was scary. I didn’t know what answer I should give. After a long silence, I mumbled that no, why should we be? She thought for a second and then said that she wouldn’t necessarily be bothered if we feared her a little.

I wanted to tell her that…
It’s mostly to her credit that I’m religious today. Many of grandma’s stories turned out to become my stories as well, and this is how I feel connected with the bigger story, of the Israeli people.

The world will be better when…
… when people will prefer grandmothers over ideals.

Grandmother:
I love his…
He is my first grandson, who turned me into a grandmother, even though he had nothing to do with it. I love his wisdom that is integrated with humor and his ability to say things nicely.

I will never forget that…
He was so sensitive as a seven year old, the way he comforted me after his grandfather died.

I wanted to tell him that…
I tell him everything, all the time. Maybe I don’t like to declare my love very often, but other than that I say what I want.

The world will be better when…
The world is already better, only we human beings have to do our best not to destroy, and learn to accept the other.

On the right: Helen Elbom, Ramat Gan, a grandmother who loves to sing
On the left: Yair Strauss, Ariel, computer engineer
Yair is the partner of Haim Elbom, Helen’s son.Helen:
I love his…
Good heart, and his willingness to help immediately, whenever it is needed.

I will never forget that…
He brought me a delicious cake when he arrived with Haim for Shabbat for the first time.

I wanted to tell him that…
I’m very happy that he is my son’s partner – because I see the good connection between them and I’m thrilled for both of them.

The world will be better when…
Parents accept their children as they are. Because G-d created them like this and we should believe in Him and accept it with love, because everything is from G-d and everything is for the best.

Yair:
I love her…
Her love and care for her children and her desire for them to be happy.

I will never forget…
Her smile and the light in her eyes when Haim and I told her we decided to get married.

I wanted to tell her that…
The way that she accepted me into the family – so lovingly – is not to be taken lightly.

The world will be better when…
Society understands that G-d doesn’t make mistakes – we were all created in his image, and we all want a life of happiness and truth, out of belief that G-d loves us too.

Check out all of the ads on Facebook