Weekly Round-Up: February 24, 2017

Author: A Wider Bridge Staff
Published: February 24, 2017

Stay up-to-date with our many communities: Here’s what’s been happening this week in the intersecting worlds of Israeli, LGBT and Jewish life!

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TOP NEWS

Israeli LGBTQ activist Sarah Weil and Jerusalem City Councilman and Orthodox Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz join A Wider Bridge in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego to share the work of the Yerushalmit Movement. This growing Jerusalem-based movement may provide inspiration for how to engage more constructively with each other here at home, given the state of our current political discourse. A Wider Bridge

On Tuesday the Israeli Knesset marked the 2nd annual LGBT Rights day in a series of discussions in the various committees. Community representatives raised issues for discussion and gave testimonies about the current state of the gay community in various fields. We brought you the summary of this impotant day. A Wider Bridge

Israelis went crazy over this video this week: During a recent Ivri Lider concert in Kfar Saba, orthodox Jewish man Moshe Grossman surprised his (orthodox) boyfriend Eran Ashkenazi and popped the question in front of the audience and a camera recording every minute. A Wider Bridge

In an op-ed on Israeli social website Onlife, Inbar Ney, a transgender man, sheds a positive light on the current state of Tel Aviv’s Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center towards transgender people through personal experience. A Wider Bridge

On a quest to become a father, New York Rabbi Joel Alter found a surrogate- who (shockingly) informed him she’s having twins. His life as a single dad finally started as his twin daughters were born last week. The Jewish Chrinicle

Three Israeli single fathers whose babies were born in Mexico to surrogate mothers cannot fly their children home because local authorities are refusing to issue birth certificates. JTA

LOCAL NEWS

CHICAGO — Student group at Illinois U vows to ‘expose true hateful nature’ of BDS, in response to launch of anti-Israel divestment campaign on campus. A Wider Bridge stands with United of Illini students against BDS. A Wider Bridge Chicago

AUSTRALIA — The annual Mardi Gras Shabbat will be held in Emanuel Synagogue this year, helping to celebrate Sydney’s Jewish LGBTI community and advocate for key issues affecting queer people. Star Observer

CANADA — Ellen Frank, self-described ‘Jewish lesbian feminist mother, grandmother and activist,’ passed away in Vancouver. The Tyee

IN ISRAEL

Israel delays decision on allowing same-sex couples to adopt: Under the present policy, same-sex couples can only adopt children for whom no adoptive heterosexual married couple can be found. Haaretz

Three bills concerning the status of the LGBT community in Israel were voted down by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation this week. Haaretz

On LGBT Rights Day, Israeli Gay Youth leader revealed to lawmakers that in nearly three out of four cities where it operates, group gets nothing at all. Haaretz

ACTIVISM

As Lesbian women age they face the many challenges. “Beshela,” an Israeli organization that marked its 10th year anniversary this weekend, provides support for lesbian and bisexual women above 45. Robin Rosenbaum, MSW, a member of the organization, talks to us about some of the challenges. A Wider Bridge

Canadian transman Lucas Bloch tells his story of struggle and triumph on his way to the discovery of his gender identity. Canadian Jewish News

“Blue and White Pride” movement believes that through army service for all Israelis can create a more tolerant and accepting society that allows all Israelis to express themselves, regardless of religion, race or sexual orientation. A Wider Bridge

Gay Jewish attorney Evan Wolfson,  founder of Freedom to Marry, was “gladly” put out of work in the U.S. and now traveling the world helping activists in other countries. He’s currently helping in Australia: “This is the moment — this is the time.” Herald Sun

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Openly gay TV host Andy Cohen took a few moments during his late night show this week to condemn the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri: “This is extremely personal for me because my great-grandparents and many other of my relatives are buried there in that cemetery.” Gay Star News

OPINIONS

At the age of 52, with a husband and two grown children, Naama suddenly fell in love with a woman. Today she’s married to her, and has shared her story with Israeli website “Motke”. “With a woman you can talk about everything,” she says. A Wider Bridge

Young Muslim interfaith queer activist Nadiya Al-Noor calls on Jewish students to be proactive in campuses and not wait for an anti-Semitic incident to happen. “If you don’t speak up, anti-Semites will.” The Times of Israel

Israeli journalist Alex Apfel thinks that any signed peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would prove inadequate for the global movements such as BDS, terror organizations and the masses across the globe bent on bringing about Israel’s total eradication as the nation state of the Jewish people. Ynet News

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

LGBTphobia in the Knesset? The people in this photo were expelled from the Israeli parliament building after taking the photo during LGBT Rights Day held in the Knesset Tuesday. “It was a mistake” said the guard. “There’s no law that forbids kissing outside the Knesset building,” said a supportive MK.  A Wider Bridge