Since 2011, we have provided hundreds of North American LGBTQ leaders in politics, entertainment, government, and advocacy to participate in a mission to Israel and the West Bank to experience the region through an LGBTQ perspective. Mission participants are introduced to Jewish peoplehood, Israel, and its LGBTQ communities, and also meet Jewish, Muslim, Druze and Christian activists working to address the country’s many domestic and foreign challenges and contradictions.
Participants are acquainted with the leadership of Israel’s most significant LGBTQ organizations, each at the forefront of change in Israeli society. We meet leading Israeli LGBTQ figures from all walks of life – religious and secular – from politics, activism, culture, music, film and much more.
Participants also meet organizations and people building the future of modern Israel – those fueling the country’s growth as a diverse and urban high-tech and research powerhouse, as well as those working to address the country’s many domestic and foreign challenges and contradictions.
Our mission alumni return home as storytellers, advocates and supporters with a personal stake in the future of A Wider Bridge, Israel, and its LGBTQ people.
Over eight years, we’ve led more than 230 American LGBTQ leaders to Israel, to discover the complexity and richness of Israeli society and its LGBTQ community — building relationships, mutual understanding, and advocacy for our community. The result has been a sea change in the strength and visibility of LGBTQ life and community in Israel.
But we discovered an essential missing piece in our bridge building: Israelis’ understanding, connection with, and advocacy for LGBTQ and Jewish communities here in America. With an alarming rise in anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, racism and white nationalism, with evolving challenges facing US LGBTQ communities today, and with changing generational views on the US-Israel relationship, our Board, team, and leadership recognized the need to help our Israeli friends, partners and communities understand our hopes and challenges.
Which is why we’re proud to announce that September 19-26, A Wider Bridge will launch our first-ever LGBTQ Reverse Mission to America, bringing a delegation of the 13 CEOs of Israel’s LGBTQ rights organizations — including many of our grantee organizations — to New York and Washington, DC.