Weekly Round-up: June 16, 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



Talleen Abu Hanna, Miss Trans Star Israel 2016 who embarked on an international successful modeling career, was invited to Washington DC, to speak at the second annual Pride reception held by the Israeli embassy. Read her words. A Wider Bridge

In direct response to weeks of attacks by pro-Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) activists on Israel’s LGBTQ community, A Wider Bridge today announced that a crowdfunding campaign has already exceeded its goal in raising over $20,000 to support TLVFest, Tel Aviv’s International LGBTQ Film Festival. A Wider Bridge

A Wider Bridge’s Executive Director, Arthur Slepian, calls out activists of Jewish Voice for Peace for misinterpreting the work of our organization, and comparing their activists to legacy protests like Stonewall and Selma. The Forward

H. Alan Scott spent a week traveling all over Israel with A Wider Bridge and came back with one important takeaway: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict won’t be solved by using Israel’s LGBT community as a scapegoat for a political argument by a handful of groups demanding a boycott. Newsweek

History of the Six Day War: This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, an event that some of us lived through and others know only through history books. Jerusalem U and the Six Day War Project have produced an interesting set of short videos that illuminate some of the key aspects of the conflict. Jerusalem U


The Aguda – Israel’s LGBT Task Force, announced on Sunday that they raised over NIS 21,000 to aid in the rescue of persecuted members of Chechnya’s LGBT community. The Jerusalem Post

This time it’s REALLY happening: After 16 years of expectation and a long struggle, the LGBTQ community is embarking on the first gay pride parade in Israel’s largest southern city, Be’er Sheva. A Wider Bridge

Like every year, homophobic statements were heard all around, surrounding the news of the pride parade in Tel Aviv. MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) criticized the LGBT parade, saying, “a Jewish family is made up of a father and a mother who naturally bring life into the world.” Arutz Sheva

The LGBTech organization was established in order to increase awareness in the business sector in Israel of the needs and feelings of employees from the LGBT community. Haaretz


Actor, model and gay human rights advocate Omar Sharif Jr. was in the spotlight at the Inspire Awards – and also revealed details of his coincidental meeting with the late Israeli President, Shimon Peres Z”L. Toronto Sun

With the anniversary of same-sex marriage legalization approaching on June 26, a new documentary, The Freedom to Marry, is highlighting the work that went into achieving nationwide equality. Led by Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson and attorney Mary Bonauto, the trailblazing civil rights movement was one of history’s most successful, though the road to justice was still met with tremendous resistance. Out Magazine

NEW YORK– Every year on the last Sunday of June, we march down Fifth Avenue to Christopher Street to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which set into motion the modern LGBT rights movement. Join A Wider Bridge at NYC Pride


Joe Goldman, public affairs pro at SF-based JCRC and LGBT activist, has previously challenged actual pinkwashing in Israel himself, but thinks that accusations of “pinkwashing” by the Israeli LGBTQ community are utterly baseless and hateful. Medium

Multimedia Historian Marc Schulman highlights the ways in which Tel Aviv Gay Pride includes civil rights messages and ending the occupation – and still, BDS movement calls for its boycott. Newsweek

Hannah Simpson, a young Jewish transgender woman, marched with the LGBTQ cluster at Celebrate Israel parade in New York City, and describes what it felt like, being attacked and bullied by JVP activists at the parade. Hannah also wishes that “Jewish Voice for Peace” will try to focus more on doing good for countries where LGBTQ people are being persecuted, instead of focusing on bashing Israel and its LGBTQ supporters. Bustle

Esther Azar, final year of study in the Aleph rabbinical program, says: “Sorry, Rabbis: Gay men can’t be happy with women — I married one and I know.” The Forward

Chef, writer, author, radio host, screenplay writer and world famous caterer Rossi first kissed a girl at 15, but needed a few more years of horrible dates with men and fantastic dates with women to set herself straight, or rather, gay. HuffPost

On Sunday it’s Father’s Day, and our very own Yanir Dekel writes about the “new generation of gay dads,” gay couples who get to bring their own biological children into the world, together. Daddy Square

We must remain critical when the Israeli government co-opts the LGBTQ struggle to divert attention from the occupation. But let’s not minimize the urgency of the situation for many queer people in Israel and across the Middle East: Frederick Hertz writes. +972