The Aguda Elects New Board

Nearly 500 of the members of the Aguda who are eligible to vote chose seven representatives to be on the board of The Aguda, The Israeli National LGBT Task Force, for the next three years

The Aguda board from left to right, clockwise: Adina Goldenber, Chen Arieli, Imri Kalmann, Mohammad Wari, Michael Finkelstein, Sara Sweiry, Inbal Ketzef, Shay Bramson

Nearly 500 of the members of the Aguda who are eligible to vote chose seven representatives out of 14 candidates to serve as members of the board for the next three years.

The results show an outstanding diversity, with a majority of women – four women out of seven board members, two of the women re-elected and two new members – Sara Sweiry and Inbal Ketzef. Also among the board members are one Arab (Mohammad Wari) one transgender person (Adina Goldenberg), one from the elderly community (Sara) and one from the students association (Shay Bramson).

Chen Arieli, who ended up with the highest number of votes, will continue as chair, this time by herself. “I am moved by the trust and right given to me and hope to serve in this position faithfully,” Chen wrote on Facebook. “I’m proud to be a woman, a feminist, a lesbian chair of the board. Now let’s put the elections behind us, roll up our sleeves and get to work. ”

“I wanted to continue being a part of the momentum of our activities in the past couple years, along with new members, who will bring into the Aguda a variety of voices that were missing so far,” Imri Kalmann, the outgoing co-chair, told A Wider Bridge. “I would like to focus as a member of the board on the discourse on safe space for sex and dating.”

Inbal Ketzef told us: “The most important for me is to get as many voices as possible into the room, especially those who are not usually heard. The issue that is the closest to my heart is that of gender, and is reflected in all the spectrum from feminist work to the transgender community.”

This year’s elections were very different than previously. Besides the high rate of voting (457 people voted as opposed to 70 people in the last elections), the layout of polling stations was wider – instead of taking place only in Tel Aviv, this year there were three other polling stations, located in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Haifa.

Last but not least, the system of exposing the candidates was different. While before, the names of the candidates were published only a day before the elections, this year their names were revealed a month before, allowing them to campaign and get people to know their agendas.

The full results:
The top six who join the board immediately, are: Chen Arieli (with 413 votes out of 457!), Shai Bramson (with 351 votes), Sarah Sweiry (347), Muhammad Wari (335), Inbal Ketzef (332) and Imri Kalmann (300 votes). Adina Goldenberg (who ended up 7th with 166 votes) will join the board in September, when Michael Finkelstein, the remaining board member, ends his term.