Openly gay Israeli diplomat Elad Strohmayer concludes his term in Philadelphia this week — an experience he said helped build bridges between American and Israeli communities, and raise visibility for LGBT communities in both countries.
Strohmayer’s three-year term as Deputy Consul General at the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, based in Philadelphia, officially wraps up Aug. 24. He and husband Oren Ben-Yosef will return to Israel, where he will resume work in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Strohmayer, 34, a native of Bat-Yam, Israel, outside of Tel Aviv, came to Philadelphia in 2012 from Angola, where he served as deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy since 2010. Locally, he oversaw the consulate’s work throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Southern New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, focusing on advocacy, community outreach and business development.
“We sponsored events, marched in Pride, I did many speaking engagements for the general community about LGBT rights in Israel,” Strohmayer said. “And I think sharing my story of coming out as a gay man and all the fears I had at the beginning but how I’ve evolved to where I am today, professionally and personally, has been important. Every time I’ve told that story, it helps people learn about our community.”