AWB Impact is A Wider Bridge’s philanthropic initiative advancing LGBTQ equality in Israel, funded by the generous support of AWB members around the world. AWB Impact awards annual grants to LGBTQ organizations and projects. Beyond financial support, we also provide our grantees with opportunities to travel to North America to demonstrate their work to North American LGBTQ and Jewish leaders and communities.
Our 2018-19 AWB Impact Grantees
HIV/AIDS Task Force Israel
Israel’s scientific community is a leading source of cutting-edge research on HIV/AIDS, saving lives and improving quality of life. Several months ago, Israel approved PreP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis), a pill to prevent the HIV infection widely used here in the U.S. Yet HIV infections in Israel remain steady in three at-risk populations: the gay male community (MSM), the asylum-seeker community from Eritrea and Sudan, and active and rehabilitating drug users. The HIV/AIDS Taskforce deploys mobile testing units to the periphery of Israel, to increase the number of HIV tests in areas that need support most. The Taskforce also provides education to Israeli communities and youth to fight the negative stigma around HIV/AIDS.Learn more
Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance
In a city divided by religious, cultural and political identities, Jerusalem Open House (JOH) is a community center that brings people together. Walk into their modest space, and you’ll see religious orthodox gay men interacting with Arab queer women, and LGBTQ seniors playing board games with LGBTQ youth. JOH not only provides a safe space for residents in this traditional city, it also serves as a platform for change in Israel’s capital. Unlike Tel Aviv Pride, The Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance, organized by JOH, is a true demonstration. In 2015, 15-year-old Shira Banki was murdered while marching with her friends, transforming this annual event into a national demonstration for LGBTQ acceptance and rights. Learn More.
Bat Kol and Havruta, the LGBTQ Religious Community
LGBTQ orthodox Israelis, like their peers in Brooklyn and Baltimore, are often presented with a binary choice between their religious communities and their LGBTQ identities.Bat Kol, the organization for religious queer women, and Havruta, the organization for religious GBT men, are refusing to choose. Together they are both carving out a space for LGBTQ religious life, fighting harmful practices like conversion therapy and engaging orthodox rabbis open to dialogue. By building visibility and acceptance in religious Israeli life, these organizations are reconciling LGBTQ identity with Jewish morality. Funds will be used in support of promoting visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ people in religious communities.
Ma’avarim, the Israeli Transgender Community
The transgender community in Israel has made recent strides. The IDF allows open transgender military service. The Ministry of Health (bureaucracy aside) approved a new policy to cover the costs of gender confirmation surgery through Israel’s universal healthcare system. And transgender Israelis can now change their gender markers on national ID cards. Yet the transgender community continues to face immense challenges in Israel as they do globally, with high rates of abuse and risk for self-harm. Ma’avarim empowers transgender youth and young adults to create change in their communities – both for transgender Israelis and toward gender equality. Learn more.
The Aguda: LGBTQ in the Periphery
A Wider Bridge is proud of our continued support of The Aguda, Israel’s national LGBTQ organization. The Aguda is a national grassroots, volunteer-based, nonprofit human-rights organization representing the LGBT community. Learn More
The LGBTQ Refugee Program of the Agudah
The LGBTQ Refugee Program provides legal assistance, psychological and social services, financial assistance, medical aid, and employment placement to LGBTQ refugees fleeing other Middle Eastern countries, as well as to LGBTQ minorities in East Jerusalem and all of Israel. Funds will support this important initiative.
Beshela: LGBTQ Aging Conference and Emergency Assistance
Through this grant, A Wider Bridge is supporting Israel’s social and advocacy organization for older lesbian and bisexual women. Funds allowed Beshela to put on the first LGBTQ conference for seniors, and will also go towards an emergency fund for senior lesbians in need. Learn More
Haifa LGBTQ Center: Center Programming
The Haifa Communities’ House is a brand-new center located in the heart of an integrated Muslim and Jewish neighborhood. The center’s social, health, and cultural programs enrich the lives of the community members living in Haifa and the peripheral North. The A Wider Bridge Impact Grant will support the center, including a program for trans women working in the sex trade industry. Learn More
Previous Impact Projects
Stand up for TLVFest
This program raised funds to counter the BDS boycott of the Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival. Boycott efforts are nothing other than counterproductive. Organizers: TLV Fest. Info
The Meeting Place
The Meeting Place brings people together from all sectors of civil society – in the heart of Jerusalem. Organizers: Yerushalmit Movement. Info
Orthodox Media Project
The Beshela Delegation on the 2018 AWB Impact Tour
About AWB Impact and Delegations
A Wider Bridge strengthens Israel’s LGBTQ community by providing financial resources, public platforms, and leadership networking for LGBTQ NGOs and community projects.
Each year, we sponsor AWB Impact delegations – visits of Israeli LGBTQ organization and community leaders to cities across North America- to feature their work and stories at community events, leadership gatherings, and networking opportunities.
Through these visits, LGBTQ and allied North Americans are exposed to the work of LGBTQ Israelis and develop a personal stake in the work of Israeli NGOs and community leaders. And through online crowd funding and fundraising events, Israel’s LGBTQ community will become better equipped to advance their goals.
Our AWB Impact tours are expanding mutual understanding, engagement, and philanthropic support; strengthening the LGBTQ communities of both North America and Israel.
To host an AWB Impact event, click here.