Weekly Round-Up: May 20, 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!



Romy Abergel is the first transgender teenager to compete in a Beauty Pageant in Israel- Read this moving expose interview with her and her mother, Ilanit. A Wider Bridge

Livne Tslil, an activist at the Jerusalem Open House who’s on board for this year’s Jerusalem Pride Parade, writes about the parade. It will mark a year since the murder of Shira Banki Z”L, and it’s planned to be more powerful and moving than ever. WDG

Gabriel Stein-Bodenheimer, a Jewish teacher and the English Department chair at Mercy High School in San Francisco, California, until recently has been addressed as Ms. Bodenheimer or just Bodenheimer. However, from now on, he will be addressed as Mr. Bodenheimer. World Religion News

NBC News brings ‘Shachar’s’ Story: A transgender man serves as a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces. NBC World News

Ken Schneck’s radio show, titled “This Show is So Gay” has featured A Wider Bridge’s Executive Director Arthur Slepian as a guest, and talked with him about his work with the pro-LGBT and pro-Israel non profit organizations, his career in the business world and even his personal life. A Wider Bridge


Gili Mosinzon, a well-known professional basketball player from Israel said he is bisexual in a Facebook post that he dedicated to the State of Israel on its Independence Day — a rare move in Israel sports. JTA


CALIFORNIA — Limmud Bay Area registration is now open! Join the Jewish community from across the Bay Area from June 24-26, 2016 for an unforgettable Shabbat and 48 hours of phenomenal Jewish learning. Limmud

CHICAGO — Chicago Cantor David Berger, partner of Rabbi Dror Chankin Gould of Congregation Anshe Emet, reveals the story behind a song that was published in virtually every Zionist songbook in America well into the 1960s. Jewish Music Research Center

MARYLAND — Jason Daniel Fair has a white, Jewish mother and a black, Christian dad. His dad gave him advice as a child that helped him embrace his differences and shaped who he is as a gay man. I’m From Driftwood

NEW YORK — Ordination as Conservative rabbi will both limit and empower innovator Amichai Lau-Lavie, who aims for a more inclusive, dynamic and nourishing Judaism. The Times of Israel

OHIO — The Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation has committed $500,000 in a matching grant to support an endowment fund for additional operating expenses of the new LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland building. Cleveland Jewish News

ST. LOUIS — Congregation Kol Rinah will welcome Rabbi Elianna Yolkut for “Building Inclusive Communities: A Radically Welcoming Weekend” May 20-22. St. Louis Jewish Light

UTAH — Salt Lake City inaugurates ‘Harvey Milk Boulevard’ in symbol of the state’s increasingly liberal stance on LGBT rights. Inquisitr


The Welfare and Social Services Ministry announced on Monday the allocation of an additional NIS 3 million toward initiatives for the LGBT community. The Jerusalem Post

Most transgender youths receive exemptions from the army on medical grounds, while those who do enlist often drop out soon thereafter because of difficulties and harassment. Haaretz

Lis Maternity Hospital, part of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, has launched a special childbirth course for members of the LGBT community. The Jerusalem Post

The new Civics book that was presented last week for public inspection introduces the murder of Shira Banki as a murder that was based on religious grounds, and does not include any references to the LGBT struggle for equality. WDG


Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism suggests three things that you can do during the month of June to honor and celebrate LGBT rights. TheRAC

Transgender Jewish CEO Martine Rothblatt of United Therapeutics speaks about the transgender controversy surrounding North Carolina’s House Bill 2. The News&Observer

Amid controversy over new protections President Barack Obama has extended to transgender people, a number of Jewish groups have welcomed them. The Forward


The Israeli-American virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman joins Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr in taking stand against law, which requires bathroom use according to gender of person’s birth certificate. Haaretz


Lesbian author Adele Levine thought she had made a mistake by accidentally inviting an orthodox rabbi to conduct her Jewish father’s funeral- but didn’t regret it. “Our little Orthodox rabbi was so short you could barely see him from behind the podium. Yet in his traditional garb, he loomed larger than life.” The Washington Post

Gili Mosinzon, who came out as bisexual last week, was known throughout his career for his off-court antics and colorful personality just as much as he was for his massive unfulfilled talent. Jerusalem Post

Claiming that Israeli law doesn’t recognize bereavement rights for LGBT families is a conservative interpretation of the law, which flies in the face of all recent legal rulings and could do more harm than good. Haaretz