First Ever LGBT Booth in Annual Aliyah Fair

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.

Scott Piro had decided to set up a stand at this year’s Israel Mega Event—an Aliyah fair that took place in New York City on February 26. The stand was a first in the history of the event, as it catered specifically to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews interested in making Aliyah.

Piro, a Reform Jew from New York, made Aliyah in 2009 and lived in Tel Aviv, until his homesickness caused him to move back to the states. After finding that he nevertheless missed Israel, he decided to reach out to his fellow NYC gay Zionists by by tooting Tel Aviv as the most gay-friendly city in the world and through paraphernalia such as t-shirts with “Zionists do it better” written on the front.

Piro eagerly states that the gay olim community in Israel and particularly Tel Aviv is well-organized and growing, with its own activities and institutions. Among them he mentions a queer ulpan, with a gay Hebrew teacher to boot. He also claims that gay Israeli men know how to both have fun and stay in a committed relationship.

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