Weekly Round-Up: May 5, 2017

Stay up-to-date with our many communities: Here’s what’s been happening this week in the intersecting worlds of Israeli, LGBT and Jewish life! A Wider Bridge



The gay camps in Chechnya are currently the biggest issue in the Israeli LGBTQ community this week. Read our Israeli community relations manager’s report. A Wider Bridge

Sasha, a gay Chechen man who managed to escape after 11 days inside one of Chechnya’s three gay concentration camps shared with Israeli National News details of the atrocities being committed under the international community’s nose. Jerusalem Online


Firefighter commander who harassed transgender employee walked away with a ridiculous ‘punishment’ of $75. The employee, who was forced out of her work, sues for millions. Mako Pride


Gal David, a relatively new name in the Tel Aviv nightlife scene, is having quite a momentum in his attempt to import his successful “Kululu” gay parties to the United States. A Wider Bridge

Democratic lawmakers this week introduced a bill that would ban the practice of “conversion therapy,” treatments that historically have targeted the LGBT community and claim to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Washington Post

Eshel’s support group helps Orthodox parents of gay children out of the closet. It was formed when relatives of LGBT kids in conservative communities needed a safe space in a homophobic storm. The Times of Israel

Gay ex-IDF soldier Hen Mazzig spoke about his life, his family, and his army service at the University of Central Florida. Heritage

RHODE ISLAND — Transgender Jewish individual Phoenix Schneider spoke to approximately 100 social workers and other mental health professionals at Jewish Family Service of Rhode Island’s annual event. The Jewish Voice

WASHINGTON DC — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum said it was “deeply concerned” about recent reports that the Chechnyan government is persecuting gay men. JTA


Next Thursday, May 11, singer Imri Ziv will go on stage in Kyiv, Ukraine, to represent Israel with the song “I Feel Alive” at the Eurovision Semi Final. “I have been singing whilst running on the treadmill.” A Wider Bridge

It’s been 20 years since Ellen DeGeneres made history and came out on her primetime sitcom – accompanied by a headline of “Yep, I’m Gay” on the cover of Time magazine. H. Alan Scott remembers and celebrates the first lead character to come out on tv. Newsweek

Writer Hilarie Pitman Pozesky explains how Jewish lesbian poet Gertrude Stein inspired her to raise her hand and say “We’re here. We’re different. Can you keep us in mind too?” Kveller


Inspired by the connection he had made with LGBTQ activists from Israel, Joe Goldman, public affairs and civic engagement manager for San Francisco at the Jewish Community Relations Council and A Wider Bridge LGBTQ Leadership Mission alum, says we all have to do whatever we can to assure security for the LGBT people currently being persecuted in Chechnya. The Bay Area Reporter

Writer Georgia Kolias cannot ever ignore the fact that in the southernmost tip of Eastern Europe, 60 miles from the Caspian Sea, the Chechen Republic, or Chechnya, is replicating the process of elimination that was used on Jews in Germany. Kolias urges the LGBTQ community to turn anger, fear, grief into action, because action=life. HuffPost

Gay fashion blogger Patrick T Cooper fell in love with Tel Aviv’s through a special tour he got from fashionista drag queen Nona Chalant. He also found out what do Lady Gaga and Tel Aviv have in common. Rolling Out

Rabbi Mark Sameth says that gender-bending language in the Hebrew Bible was the subject of commentary long before the twentieth century. The Forward