The Blog of the Jerusalem Open House

Update from The Intern, My Experience So Far!

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Hey Everyone, its been a while!

so much has happened since my last post, sadly i haven’t gotten to post much, so here is  a little update of my experience at the Open House and living in Jerusalem.

So there has been a lot of cool events happening at the JOH, and i was privileged to be a part of them. First off we had Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem Basketball team come to the Open House to give support for the work we do, and we went out to lunch together, it was really great to see a sports team show such support. check out some photos of the event: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.600365373326818.1073741827.159727300723963&type=1

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The next project I worked on was reviving the English Speakers Group. So far we have had a great turnout at our meetings and we have had some great dialogues  and discussions and we all went out for dinner and a drink as well. The group is really coming together and expanding nicely so free to join the group Here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JOHEnglishgroup/

Another project i got to work on was Renowned Gay orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg’s Book Tour and panel event. The event was a great success with a prestigious panel featuring Rabbi Ron Yosef of “HOD” (a gay Daati organization), Sarah Weil (Founder of “Women’s Gathering) and Renana Leviana (Bat-Kol, Lesbian Group). The topic was

From Toleration to Integration
(and maybe even Celebration)

how can we move from simply accepting ourselves
as an unfortunate reality, to celebrating ourselves
as special creations of God

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This project was a great learning experience for me, i got to explore Jerusalem while posting signs for the event, met some really great people before and at the event, and it was overall a great success, with over 50 people attending.

Another event i got to work on was “the Interfaith Dialogue on the topic of Homosexuality”.
We were joined by special guest Michael Toumayan of the HRC’s (Human Rights Campaign) Religion and Faith program in Washington D.C., who lead the meaningful discussion.

Aside for my activities in the Open House, i have gotten to know and meet many people from Jerusalem’s small but amazing LGBT community. I met many Havruta (the prominent Daati Gay Community) members, who have all been like family, and got to experience the nightlife here and make new friends. I also attended the”Shabbat Kehilah” which took place in Nachsholim which was hosted by Zehorit Sorek of the “Pride Minyan” in Tel Aviv, which was a wonderful weekend with so many nice people from the LGBT community.

I have also gotten to work with the amazing Sarah Weil of the “Women’s Gathering” a great social group that hosts sophisticated events for the Queer community. I am also a moderator on a new page for LGBT Olim, founded by Roy Freeman of the Tel Aviv ESG. It is a great resource for anyone who has, or is planning on making alyiah: https://www.facebook.com/LGBTOlim

Aside from my time spent within the LGBT community, it was great to spend Purim, Yom Hashoah,Yom Hazikoron, Yom haatzmaut, and Shavuot here in Jerusalem. The Open House and the wider Queer community had many events and celebrations around these days as well.

There are many more upcoming events and projects that i hope to help with, and i am looking forward to it. Having been here for over 3 months, i really have to say that i have had an amazing experience so far, and thanks to the Jerusalem Open House I have been given many great opportunities, met so many amazing people, and made many new friends. Jerusalem has a small but vibrant LGBT community and it is only growing and expanding. Every community takes time to build itself up, and from what i have seen LGBT Jerusalem is doing a great job!

Until next Time,

Marty.

LINKS:

JOH: http://joh.org.il/index.php/english

English Speakers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JOHEnglishgroup/

Womens Gathering: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JOHEnglishgroup/

LGBT Olim: https://www.facebook.com/LGBTOlim

Havruta: https://www.facebook.com/Havruta.IL

HOD: http://www.hod.org.il/?en=1

Bat-Kol: https://www.facebook.com/groups/batkol/

Pride Minyan: https://www.facebook.com/pride.minyan

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