March 2012 —
A delegation of Israeli LGBT leaders from the Alliance of Israeli LGBTQ Educational Organizations (AILO) visited the West Coast over two weeks. These groups, Israel Gay Youth, Tehila, (the Israeli P-FLAG) and Hoshen, do courageous and inspiring work every day, as they seek to make Israel a more inclusive place for LGBT youth and their families. They came here to share their experiences , and to meet with and learn from organizations in the U.S. that face similar challenges. They visited Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver. The meetings and events during this visit included:
— In Los Angeles, the delegation met with the leaders of the Trevor Project and shared ideas and practices for helping LGBT teens in crisis and working to reduce teen suicides.
— The delegation met with the Southern California Regional Board of P-FLAG, and shared their own unique programs for helping parents deal with their LGBT children.
— The delegation visited the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, where a multitude of strategies related to HIV testing, prevention and care were shared.
— In San Francisco the delegation met with a diverse group of LGBT and Jewish leaders, including an LGBT Asian group and those working for LGBT inclusion in a variety of faith-based communities. Much of the conversation was focused on dealing with the special issues faced by LGBT people in minority communities, both in Israel and the U.S.