A Wider Bridge would like to congratulate our longtime friend Zehorit Sorek for getting the number 19 spot on Yesh Atid’s list for the Knesset. Zehorit has traveled to the US on several occasions to speak to audiences as part of our programs, and has met with every mission that AWB has brought to Israel during the past four years.
In our latest interview with her, Zehorit Sorek talked about what being a friend and supporter of A Wider Bridge means to her. “The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel emphasizes twice the important relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry,” Zehorit says, “a connection that was preserved and strengthened since the it was written with the establishment of Israel in 1948. A Wider Bridge organization supports the strengthening of this relationship, emphasizing the relationship between the LGBT community in Israel and in the US. Strengthening this relationship is another link in the long-standing historical chain of the Jewish people. I am proud to take part in that.”
Yesh Atid has announced that Zehorit Sorek will be added to the party’s slate for the upcoming election. If she makes the Knesset, Sorek will be not only the first openly lesbian MK, but also the first openly lesbian religious MK. Sorek has worked for Yesh Atid for the past two years, spearheading its legislation on LGBT issues.
Sorek has been an activist in the LGBT community for many years, serving on the board of directors at Hoshen – The Israeli LGBT Education and Information Center, as well as at IGY, the organization for Israeli gay youth.
This morning, Zehorit officially launched a Politician Page on Facebook with a comment on her new position in the party. “For two years I was in the Yesh Atid family,” she wrote. “Yesterday my position was given additional meaning when I joined the national list for the Knesset. I am proud to join a team of quality action people, and even more proud to be your voice.”
“It was a very moving moment for me, especially since my wife supported me from the audience. It is well known that behind every successful woman there’s a woman (smiley face). I’m here to promote equality. This is what has motivated me for ten years as a social activitist, in the LGBT community and in general. When I joined Yesh Atid I knew I had come home to an inclusive and accepting place that is fighting with me for our country.”
After the announcement, Zehorit told us that the responses were wonderful and she received compliments, hugs and love from all sides of the political spectrum. “There has been a concern in the LGBT community in light of the resignation of Nitzan Horowitz, that it will have no representative in the next Knesset,” Zehorit told us. “My name on Yesh Atid’s list brought new hopes to the LGBT community and gave a new spirit of community support in the party, that now offers not only an impressive record of action but also community representation.”
If elected to the Knesset, what is the first thing you’re planning to work on?
“Equality, equality and again- equality. I will work to promote equality legislation for the LGBT community, in relationships, in parenting, and in recognition by the country in every field. In addition, it is important for me to advance the field of equal employment opportunity for transgender people, in light of the long-lasting discrimination it has experienced. “
In 2013 Zehorit opened up to Israel’s top women’s magazine La’Isha and spoke about her life story, being religious and married to a man, then coming out as a lesbian. “A lot of times people ask me, ‘What will you say to God when you get up there?’.” She told the magazine, “And I say that God created me this way, and if so, I am here as a messenger. My mission is to educate for tolerance and acceptance of the other in religious society. I know this process takes a long time, but I have patience.”