Weekly Round-Up: December 9, 2016

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!



Although he is not Jewish, James Moon, a partner with the law firm Meland Russin & Budwick, P.A., makes the case that progressives and LGBTQ in particular can and should support Israel – the only country in the Middle East where LGBTQ can find hope for a valued and respected life. That’s the main reason why this ex-navy submariner decided to join A Wider Bridge’s Board of Directors. A Wider Bridge

Roee Angel comes from an Orthodox Jewish family. In a Facebook post he describes the torture he went through coming out as gay, which included burial of two of his friends who committed suicide because of the nonacceptance of their families. A Wider Bridge

Dr. Curtis N. Crane, M.D., a specialist in urologic and plastic surgery, has arrived in Israel , and in the forthcoming weeks will perform sex reassignment surgery on transgender men. WDG

Israel to ease citizenship for same-sex couples: Previously, the process for same-sex couples was several years longer than that for non-same-sex couples, often ending in permanent residency and not citizenship. The Jerusalem Post

Journalist Michael K. Lavers, who participated in A Wider Bridge’s LGBT Leadership Mission to Israel in November, writes about the progress for Jerusalem’s LGBT community and the group’s visit to Jerusalem Open House. The Washington Blade


CHICAGO — Rabbi D’ror Chankin-Gould to film an ELI Talk about being a gay man and a rabbi. A Wider Bridge Chicago

NEW YORK — Ben Shapiro, the 32-year-old right-wing pundit and leading target of online anti-Semites, won over a crowd of mostly Orthodox students at Yeshiva University with jabs at transgender people, liberals and non-Orthodox Jews. The Forward

INDIA — Israel’s leading culinary journalist Gil Hovav joined two European personalities in Mumbai to talk about LGBT equality. The Times of India

UNITED KINGDOM — Rob Young, Vice President (Society and Citizenship) at UK’s National Union of Students, thinks that there a lot of similarity between Jewish people talking about their oppression and how it was being ignored with a deafening silence, and the opression he felt growing up as a gay boy. Jewish News


Following the murder of the late Shira Banki at the Jerusalem Pride Parade last year, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett promised to double the budget for Gay Youth Organization “IGY,” that received NIS 950,000 in 2015. On Tuesday, the organization was informed that not only will the budget not be increased, but it will be cut by NIS 200,000. A Wider Bridge

The LIBA Center, a right wing organization calls LGBT people ‘perverts’ and says the IDF’s mixed gender policy is ‘intended to change the entire IDF domain into a secular and permissive one.’ Haaretz

Naomi Gopher faces endless judgement and intimate interrogations about her relationship with Inbar Ney, a transgender man. In a joint interview the couple describes society’s norms that they try to break, and how they try to avoid definitions regarding their sexuality and relationship. Mako Pride

Two LGBT organizations in Israel announced this week that they are in search of new Executive Directors. IGY, Israel Gay Youth, which recently adopted the format of co-CEOs, is saying goodbye to Mandy Michaeli, and in Hoshen, Yali Ben Ami Vitenberg announced that the organization is looking for someone to replace her. A Wider Bridge


Transgender rights; Same-sex marriage; Federal protections against discrimination; Rabbi Joshua Lesser among LGBTQ clergy who tackle tough issues ahead of Trump’s presidency. CNN

Yardena Marsh reached the headlines in the Israeli news in 2006 after she was murdered by a thief who was known to the police. But the pioneer transgender woman’s life never was easy. A tribute article to a trailblazing transgender woman. Ynet


Laila Tov, an Israeli late night TV show, has produced a video that refers to all the latest anti-gay sayings by Israeli rabbis, and giving “Meatless Monday” a different interpretation. A Wider Bridge

In a first, the Yiddish theater company will produce ‘Indecent,’ based on a groundbreaking 1923 Broadway show that was shut down after police charged cast members with obscenity, in part, for depicting a lesbian relationship on stage. The New York Jewish Week


Julie Chase, an open, loud-and-proud transgender Jewish woman who may be conservative her my politics, has learned how to embrace her female side will now take up the challenge thrown to us by Alt-Right America and redouble her effort to gain full freedom. Out & About in Nashville

Two Conservative rabbis, Rabbi Adina Lewittes of Closter and her friend Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie from Lab/Shul, ponder intermarriage as something other than a binary problem. New Jersey Jewish Standard

Efrat Yardai, a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University: Israelis must cry out not just against swastika graffiti, anti-Semitic comments, or physical attacks on Jews, but also when a gay person is assaulted or when a writing like ‘Make America White Again’ is spray-painted on a wall. Ynet

Transgender rabbi, Jewish educator and an advocate for the LGBTQ community, Becky Silverstein, strongly disagrees with right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro on his statements that “transgender people are unfortunately suffering from a significant mental illness” and that “Torah Judaism does not support social justice.” The Forward