Organizations across Israel that support feminist LGBTQ awareness

By Kristof Steiner

God is Love

Bat Kol is an organization for religious lesbians that was founded back in 2005 – mostly by women who wished not give up religion or their sexual identity. Once a home for struggling ladies, it is now a growing community that champions the same values: making it possible for women to live in loving relationships, raise children, and stay close to the traditions of Judaism. Orthodox rabbis, respected professors and important community members all support Bat Kol, and believe that education for tolerance and acceptance is the main tool for creating a bridge between spirituality and sexual orientation.

Proud and Palestinian

ASWAT is the sole group of openly lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning and queer Palestinian women – an organization founded in 2002 by women who believe that a safe, supportive and empowering space is a must for all who struggle with identity issues, discrimination, or hatred. Social and political questions and answers are put on the table. As a minority living in Israel, as women in a patriarchal society, and as LBTQI women in a wider hetero-normative culture, there is a lot that connects these special women. Their goal? Working towards promoting women's leadership and building an LBTQI community that will further encourage the inclusion of people of any gender, race, religion or color in our society.

Learn from the Ladies

"Hoshen" – a Hebrew acronym meaning “education and change" –is a non-profit nationwide organization focusing on public education regarding LGBTQ awareness; fighting stereotypes regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Each year they reach about 300,000 people through their programs - from high school students, teachers and university students, to police officers, soldiers, medical staff and social workers. They also host training sessions for facilitators and conferences for caregivers and other professionals. The educational center works towards meaningful change in Israeli society, with a mission of creating equality for LGBTQ people. 

The “Achayot” of Akko

The Jam – a unique live music venue and cultural centre founded and operated by members of the Dror Israel Educational Kibbutz in Akko – is the host of this young, creative community: “Achoti”, meaning “my sister” is a party that takes place every second month and is the only women’s party in the region. With live shows, an opportunity to shake that bootie and to have a conversation with like-minded ladies in an environment that has a lot to learn about LGBTQ acceptance, it’s a truly outstanding start up, particularly when considering that Akko is known to be one of the very traditional towns in Israel, both on the Arab and Jewish sides.

Golden City Girls

Working with venues, organizations, and individuals in Jerusalem, Women's Gathering is contributing to making the capital a more tolerant, inclusive and diverse place. This monthly event of lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and queer women and women-identified peoples and friends is not only for mingling, but more importantly for community building. It is hosted at a different venue in the city each time, and each venue that participates is added to their list of ‘Gay Friendly Businesses’ in Jerusalem. All events are free of charge and are open to the larger public. At Avram Music Bar, they promoted women's music and artistic expression, at the Bass Club, they helped women and women-identified DJs to reach their goals, and all parties are designed to provide an open, loving and celebratory queer space to encourage women's club music. Straight friends of all genders and gay men are welcome as well.

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