Wrapping up 2017: Top Stories of the Year!

We’ve been reviewing our most notable accomplishments of the past year, and wanted to share them with you. This is a great opportunity to thank all of our supporters, thousands and thousands of you, who visited our website, signed our petitions, ‘liked’ us on social media, and helped us create equality in and for Israel. We promise to continue fighting for equality in 2018. Happy New Year everyone!!!

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7. A Wider Bridge Co-Sponsors and Funds Historic Conference on LGBTQ Aging

A Wider Bridge Impact co-sponsors and funds the first LGBTQ conference in Israel addressing concerns of the LGBTQ senior population. The conference, held at the Gay Center in Tel Aviv, was organized by Beshela.  Topics addressed included housing, social support, medical care, legal rights, and history.

6. A Wider Bridge Brings over 50 American LGBTQ leaders to Israel on Two Separate Trips

In November, A Wider Bridge partnered with the Olivia lesbian travel company to bring queer women on a historic 10-day mission to Israel to experience the country through an LGBTQ lens.  Additionally, a June trip brought prominent figures including Evan Wolfson, founder and leader of The Freedom to Marry campaign, writer and comedian H. Alan Scott, whose trip to Israel is a part of a documentary , and Muslim LGBTQ activist and writer Nadiya Al-Noor, who has expressed support for Israel and for a fruitful relationships between Jews and Muslims many times in the past.

5. AWB Impact Raises $7,500 for Pluralism in Jerusalem & Brings “The Meeting Place” to the USA

AWB Impact brought the The Meeting Place Delegation to five US cities to share their work, and raised $7,500 to support this important organization.. The Meeting Place fosters Jerusalem to be a “community of communities”, a pluralistic society with all sectors of society – LGBTQ and straight, religious and secular, Jewish, Muslim and Christian – building bridges of communication.

4. AWB Impact Raises $5,000 for the “Our Faces” Campaign & Brings Israeli Religious Leaders to the USA

Zehorit Sorek and Daniel Jonas, leaders of Bat Kol and Havruta, Israeli Religious LGBTQ Organizations, toured the US to share their organizations’ work changing attitudes in religious communities across Israel, fighting homophobia and hurtful tools like conversion therapy, and cultivating the flourishing LGBT religious communities and events that exist today in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and across the State of Israel. The tour raised funds for the “Our Faces” campaign which put a public face on LGBTQ Orthodox Israelis.

3. A Wider Bridge Creates Letter Campaign for Same-Sex Adoption in Israel

In response to the growing controversy in Israel regarding adoption by same-sex couples, A Wider Bridge organizedpublic letter signed by nearly 200 Jewish Community Leaders from across America in support of same-sex adoption in Israel.  AWB called upon the Israeli ministries to treat the country’s same-sex families and would-be parents with the equality they deserve. The state committed to introduce legislation that would equalize the adoption rights of same-sex couples by June 2018.

2. A Wider Bridge Raises $20,000 for TLVFest to fight BDS

In direct response to weeks of attacks by pro-Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) activists on Israel’s LGBTQ community, A Wider Bridge launched a crowdfunding campaign which exceeded its goal in raising over $20,000 to support TLVFest, Tel Aviv’s International LGBTQ Film Festival.

1. A Wider Bridge’s Mobilizes Around the Dyke March Controversy. Laurie Grauer pens Op-Ed that goes viral: “Why was I kicked out of the Dyke March?”

In June, AWB’s Midwest Manager, Laurie Grauer along with two other women, were expelled from the Chicago Dyke March for carrying Jewish Pride Flags. In response, A Wider Bridge sent out a petition demanding an apology from the Dyke March, which garnered over 14,000 signatures, and over 60 articles and opinion pieces were published around the world. Sadly, despite the global outcry and multiple offers made by AWB staff and local envoys to come together, the Chicago Dyke March Collective remains steadfast in their decision. Read the story>>