What is the mission of A Wider Bridge?

A Wider Bridge is the North American organization advancing LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Israel—through education, advocacy, relationship-building and grant-making. We also champion inclusive spaces where people can bring their full selves to the table, ensuring that Jews, Israelis, LGBTQ people, and our allies are all treated fairly.

Does A Wider Bridge endorse a political party in Israel and/or in the United States?

No, we do not. As a 501(c)3 organization, we do not endorse political parties, elected officials, or candidates for elected office in the US, Canada, and Israel. We do however build relationships with government officials and decision-makers across the political spectrum to advocate for the rights and dignity of all LGBTQ people. We also speak out against policies and governmental initiatives that harm the LGBTQ community, democracy, and equality in Israel and the United States. Here are some examples:

Does A Wider Bridge believe in rights for Palestinians?

Yes. We believe in Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state and we believe that Palestinians have the right to self-determination. We actively support a two-state solution. Our leadership missions to Israel include a day in the West Bank where participants visit Palestinian Refugee Camps, meet with Palestinian leaders promoting non-violence, and learn about Arab-Jewish cooperation efforts like Shorashim (Roots). Many of our supporters identify as left-wing and/or progressive, and firmly express their support for Palestinian rights and self-determination, in addition to LGBTQ equality and pro-Israel advocacy. We believe that by supporting LGBTQ communities in Israel, we are fostering a climate of inclusivity and equality for everyone, including Palestinians.

We recognize that within our community’s big and diverse tent, there are divergent opinions about the conflict and how to bring peace and stability to Israel and the region. We welcome healthy debate, while trying to build commonalities among us as LGBTQ people and allies that transcend the polarizing, often toxic atmosphere surrounding the conflict.

Does A Wider Bridge receive funding from the Israeli government?

No, not a penny. We generate all of our funding from individual supporters, foundations, and corporate sponsors. While we do not accept money from the Israeli government, we do meet with Israeli leaders in parliament and the Foreign Ministry who reflect a wide range of political views. We believe it is important to be in conversation with many different political leaders, including those with whom we disagree.

I heard that A Wider Bridge is secretly a right-wing, Zionist PR firm. Is that true?

Nope. A Wider Bridge is a pro-Israel, pro-LGBTQ non-profit organization. We offer a wide range of grant-making, advocacy, and leadership programs for LGBTQ Israelis, North Americans, and allies. You can learn more about our programs here. We take a values-driven approach to our Zionism, rooted in our belief that Israel must be both a democratic and Jewish state that advances the rights, opportunities and dignity of all people.

What is ‘pink washing?’

‘Pink washing’ is a theory that describes a variety of marketing and political tactics implemented to take advantage of LGBTQ community celebrations to promote an ulterior agenda, or to downplay criticism or negative publicity by changing the subject.

In recent years, a number of actors — LGBTQ Israelis, Members of Knesset, and pro-Israel Americans — have been accused of ‘pink washing’ by supporting LGBTQ issues in Israel to divert attention from Palestinian suffering.

Does A Wider Bridge engage in ‘pink washing’?

Not at all. We champion progress for LGBTQ people, never at the expense of other communities that experience discrimination, bigotry or injustice. Our goal is not to elevate one community at the sake of minimizing the struggles of another.

While pinkwashing accusations in the most sinister of forms is unfounded and has no causal relationship, we do believe that ‘pink washing’ does exist to the extent that Israeli and American Jewish leadership promotes the openness of LGBTQ life in Israel to the international community abroad, while doing little to nothing to tangibly support the real struggles of the LGBTQ Israeli community on the ground at home. This undermines the work of LGBTQ rights activists and creates additional obstacles for LGBTQ people in Israel who face serious threats to their human rights, including the right to marry, build a family, serve in the military, and access quality health services.

I’m not Jewish. Can I still be part of A Wider Bridge’s community?

Yes! Our supporters are extremely diverse with an array of cultural, religious, ethnic, and racial identities. We welcome all people, regardless of their backgrounds, to join our community if they share our desire to strengthen LGBTQ equality in Israel and for Israel. Many if not most of the participants in our Leadership Missions are not Jewish. In order to advance our work, we believe it is vital to build relationships with non-Jewish leaders and communities.

I’m a straight ally. How can I support A Wider Bridge?

Just as non-Jewish leaders play a critical role in our community, heterosexual allies are essential for advancing our work for LGBTQ equality in Israel and in the United States. We encourage you to attend a local event, follow us on social media, make a donation, and build bridges with us toward empathy, equality, and peace.