Weekly Round-Up: March 10, 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

Great news for the trans community in Israel! The Ministry of Health announced that as of Wednesday people can send a sex change form to be filled in by a doctor at the touch of a button. Mako Pride

An offensive campaign towards the transgender community recently launched by the advertising agency Yehoshua\TBWA for Studio C, a women’s fitness chain, has created a stir on the web, with thousands of criticizing comments. Despite the mild apology that Studio C issued, it seems that the transphobia in the place is deeply rooted. “Transgender women can register for classes in Studio C only if they are women, physiologically or biologically,” said the company’s spokeswoman. A Wider Bridge

Roman Blank, a 96-year-old grandfather who escaped the Nazis, has revealed he has known he’s gay since he was five. Jewish News

Tel Aviv and Amsterdam’s LGBT communities exchange ideas: Deputy Mayor and several city council members from the city of Amsterdam held a meeting Thursday with representatives from the LGBT community in Israel, regarding cooperation between the gay communities of Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. WDG

LOCAL NEWS

NEW YORK –A conference, concert, and celebration to mark the tenth anniversary of the Jewish Theological Seminary decision to admit openly gay and lesbian students to its rabbinical and cantorial schools. A Wider Bridge

UNITED KINGDOM — Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis described the anti-LGBT vandalism at the Jewish Community Centre London (JW3) as “divisive and destructive”; Tom Ross-Williams, star of one of the plays in the event, has invited the vandals to his show in a bid to try and educate them. The Jewish Chronicle / Pink News

IN ISRAEL

Beer Sheva municipality has gone through a significant change in attitude towards the LGBT community since last year’s cancellation of the gay pride parade. A Wider Bridge

“Throughout my service about thirty soldiers came out of the closet to me. More than that, I had religious soldiers who came up to me and said, ‘I didn’t believe that this is how a gay person looks’ because all of their lives they’ve heard from rabbis that gay people are perverts.” – Omer Nahmany, IDF reservist. ILTV

ACTIVISM

For the first time ever, the Israel Mega Event—an annual Aliyah fair taking place in New York City—included a stand catering to LGBT Jews; Scott Piro, who was behind the initiative, speaks about marketing the Israeli gay community to American LGBT Jews. Ynet

Etai Pinkas, a social and environmental activist in Israel, came to New York’s Hofstra University to discuss his role in LGBTQ+ issues and sustainability practices, as well as to talk about his activism in an event sponsored by Hillel and Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion. The Hofstra Chronicle

US Muslims and Jews Take a Stand for Trans Rights: The show of support from religious leaders comes as the Supreme Court scrapped plans to hear a precedent-setting case. TeleSUR

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

After performing in Israel three times in the past, legendary British duo Pet Shop Boys is reportedly close to signing on to give a show at the Tel Aviv Pride parade this coming June. Ynet

A gay character is in the center of “Significant Other,” a bittersweet comedy by Joshua Harmon that opened last week at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. The Forward

OPINIONS

Assaf Weiss, a Graduate Student at Columbia Law School, says we must protect American campuses from the BDS movement and the violence faced by Jewish and Israeli students. “The BDS activists’ message was clear: The only freedom of speech worthy of protection is their own. Those who disagree, or dispute their view of the world, would be violently disrupted.” Jerusalem Post

Haaretz Editorial: Last summer Rabbi Yigal Levinstein slammed the military for the tolerance it demonstrates toward the gay community, whose members he called ‘perverts.’ Last week he vilified the recruitment of young Orthodox Jewish women. An individual who holds such chauvinistic views cannot be part of a system that prepares thousands of religious youths for military service. Haaretz

Alison Walsh is a Co-Ordinator for the parents’ group, “Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians” in the U.K., which helped her so much to “come out” to the world as a Jewish parent of a gay child. Jewish News

Studio C only benefits from the negative buzz around its transphobic ads. We need to reach a critical mass of avoiding to go there, to make sure they understand that offensive commercials simply don’t pay off. Oded Yaron, Haaretz contributor, explains. Haaretz