Weekly Round-up: August 18, 2017

Stay up-to-date with our many communities: Here’s what’s been happening this week in the intersecting worlds of pro-Israel and the LGBTQ community!



After growing up as a gay man and an Orthodox Jew, Daniel Jonas is working to find a way to build bridges between those two communities. Metro News

They got married, had children, got divorced and then changed their gender. According to testimonies that reached Haaretz newspaper when the custody hearings began, social workers recommended taking the children away from transgender parents. The Welfare Ministry says there’s no guidance on the subject, and perhaps that’s the problem. A Wider Bridge

Following the Chicago Dyke March incident in June, the staff of A Wider Bridge embarked on a dialogue tour, answered questions and engaged in conversations with leaders from dozens of LGBTQ and Jewish organizations and communities. Midwest Manager Laurie Grauer describes one of the dialogue groups that took place in Chicago. A Wider Bridge


New poll finds 60% of Israelis support same-sex adoptions. The poll also finds 74% think main criterion for adoption should be child’s best interests, rather than type of family seeking to adopt. Ynet News

During a closed meeting, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit expressed support of same-sex adoption, although he is committed to government’s position and law. Jerusalem Online

Education Minister Naftali Bennett defended his religious party’s lesbian spokesperson following a resignation of a board member who called not to hire LGBT people. A Wider Bridge

The new Miss Trans Israel Elian Nesiel speaks about her gender change, about the importance of support, and bout her right to adopt a child and start a family. Frogi


CANADA — Hen Mazzig, an openly gay former Israeli Defence Forces commander was a panelist at a free speech event in Toronto organized by LGBTory, the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research and Hasbara Fellowships. Toronto Sun

CHICAGO — Rabbi Megan GoldMarche and her wife Paige are likely the first queer couple hired “to be a family to the Jewish community” at the Silverstein Base Hillel in Lincoln Park. Windy City Times

MIAMI — Cindy Brown, manager of the Lambda Living senior program, participated in A Wider Bridge’s Leadership Mission to Israel in June. A month later, she launched one of her biggest projects to date, the affordable housing initiative for LGBT seniors. In a special event that was held to launch the project and was covered this week by South Florida Gay News, Cindy spoke to open house attendees on the challenges LGBT seniors face today. South Florida Gay News

NEW YORK — Primarily singing in English, Tamar Eisenman met a lot of skepticism as a musician in Israel. But since moving to New York City a year-and-a-half ago, the lesbian 37-year-old hip-rock guitarist, singer and songwriter has found more openness and understanding. The Jerusalem Post

UNITED KINGDOM — My Big Gay Jewish Conversion, a BBC documentary, poses the serious question of whether there is a place in modern mainstream religion for gay people. Simon Atkins, a Roman Catholic, considering converting to his boyfriend’s Jewish faith, and travels to Israel as part of it. Documentary is now online in full for limited time. Watch here: The Daily Telegraph


Ariella Shua, a graduate of Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School and the Nativ Program in Israel, says that pride parade is an important expression of solidarity for the Jews who are part of the LGBTQ community, and that Orthodox Jews who hate LGBTQ people are going against the command “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” The Jewish Link

Josh Sayles, director of the Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, says that people don’t want anti-Israel outspoken singer Roger Waters to perform in Pittsburgh, but opposed to Waters and his other BDS friends, Sayles recognizes the right of those with whom we disagree to peacefully exist among us and to exercise their First Amendment right. The Jewish Chronicle