Weekly Round-Up: February 3, 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!



Popular LGBT travel magazine Out Traveler published its recommendation for top five LGBT-Friendly Destinations to Visit in the Middle East – and placed Tel Aviv as the #1 spot. A Wider Bridge

Shani Segev, Vice President of The Aguda – Israel LGBTQ Task Force , joins A Wider Bridge’s staff from Tel Aviv as Israel Community Relations Manager. A Wider Bridge

Orthodox rabbi Jack Abramowitz came to realize that gender issues in Halacha are far more intricate than many would assume. Jew in the City


CALIFORNIA — Gay Jewish state Senator Scott Wiener introduced two new bills this week, one to create a third gender option on driver’s licenses and birth certificates, and another to protect LGBT seniors and HIV-positive people living in long-term care facilities from discrimination. SFGateThe Bay Area Reporter

CHICAGO — Matt Simonette attended Zehorit Sorek and Daniel Joans’ event in Chicago, and heard them speak about being LGBT and orthodox Jewish. Windy City Times

MICHIGAN — Architect Alexander Pollock designed a transit shelter combined from the male and female symbols long before the word ‘transgender’ was even in the dictionary. The sculpture, which was placed at Detroit Medical Center back in the 1970s now seeks new home. Detroit Jewish News

WASHINGTON DC — Michele Amira attended our “Refusing to Choose: LGBTQ and Orthodox in Israel”event at DCJCC. The event was held as an open forum, discussing on the ways in which Modern Orthodox communities are creating room for intersectional Orthodox LGBTQ identities, both in Israel and the diaspora. New Voices

UNITED KINGDOM — A British court has ruled that the children of a Jewish transgender woman may not see their parent due to the likelihood that they will be “marginalized or excluded by the ultra-Orthodox community”. The Independant


Nearly 500 of the members of the Aguda who are eligible to vote chose seven representatives to be on the board of The Aguda, The Israeli National LGBT Task Force, for the next three years. Chen Arieli, who ended up with the highest number of votes, will continue as chair. A Wider Bridge

Dorit Glassman, 31, was chosen this week to become the new co-CEO of IGY, alongside Ran Leabel, who continues his role. Glassman replaces Mandy Michaeli, who served as co-CEO in recent years and decided to continue on a new path. IGY

Kulanu, an Israeli centrist political party that focuses on economic and cost-of-living issues, announced the launch of an LGBT caucus lead by transgender activist Amit Zuk, for future activism and support for the LGBT community. A Wider Bridge


The Boy Scouts of America announced this past Monday that it is now allowing transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs. Kveller

Ilana Kaufman is a nationally recognized speaker, a Jewish community leader with twenty years of organizational development experience, and a published author of many articles, including, “What It’s Like to Be a Black, Gay, Professional Jew.” Keshet interviewed her about her work for the Jewish Community Relations Council and how the Jewish community can more fully embrace its diversity. My Jewish Learning


Hollywood actresses Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams were in Edgware to film Disobedience, a Jewish lesbian love story based on the book of the same name by Naomi Alderman. The Jewish Chronicle

At this time of deep political fracture in the US, the story of gay Jewish artist Cary Leibowitz needs to be heard. Wallpaper

Tomer Heymann’s film “Mr. Gaga,“ which is about the work and life of the choreographer Ohad Naharin, is the most successful documentary in Israeli history- and was created, according to Tomer, because he had always wanted to make an Israeli version of “Fame.” The New Yorker

Off-Off-Broadway play “Boys of a Certain Age” tackles of the challenges of four gay Jewish men in the Trump era. The Huffington Post


Omer Nahmany, who currently leads the project “Pride x2 to Israel” to double the number of publicly out LGBT people in the army, writes about the cultural battle against religious extremists in Israeli army. Haaretz

Rabbi Mark Sameth responds to frequently asked questions about some gender-bending translations of Torah texts he has proposed in a few articles. The Forward

Juval Porat, cantor of LGBT synagogue in Los Angeles Beth Chayim Chadashim, traveled to Thailand to to volunteer at the Elephant Nature Sanctuary. Upon his return, he shared about his experience, and how it integrates beautifully with this week’s torah portion. BCC-LA

Omar Sharif Jr. hits out at Trump’s ‘devastating’ travel ban; The half-Jewish grandson of legendary actor Omar Sharif was forced to leave his native Egypt for the US when he came out as gay in 2012. Attitude

A Wider Bridge’s very own Yanir Dekel launched a page for “the new generation of gay dads,” the first generation of gay men who can get married and have biological children together. “we don’t have to do everything exactly like the straight couples are doing,” he writes. “We can find our own way.” Daddy Square


The former face of “Arisa” who now turned national celebrity Uriel Yekutiel participated in a fashion shoot tribute for the late music icons George Michael and Prince– and the results are remarkable. A Wider Bridge