The Blog of the Jerusalem Open House


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Pride in Ha’aretz

One of Israel’s largest newspapers – Ha’aretz – ran a story today interviewing the JOH’s executive director Yonatan Gher about Jerusalem Pride and what we hope to accomplish through the march. With Pride this Thursday, it’s good to know that mainstream Israeli media is taking notice.  Find the article from Ha’aretz’s website pasted below:

LGBT activist Yonatan Gher, will marching on the Knesset advance gay rights?

By Liel Kyzer

Yonatan Gher is the director general of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH ), an organization that promotes the welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT ) people in the city. This Thursday, the eighth Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade will be held, nearly one year after the fatal shooting at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv. At the conclusion of Thursday’s parade, participants will file into the Wohl Rose Garden across from the Knesset building.

Yonatan Gher, why did you decide to march on the Knesset this year?

After the attack at the Bar Noar center in Tel Aviv, we put a lot of thought into how we could publicly commemorate the tragedy. In the end, we decided not to stage the usual Jerusalem Pride Parade, but rather to transform it. This week’s event is a pride parade, but it is much more than that. The event will attract the LGBT community from all over the country, and we will commemorate the first anniversary of this murder.

The intention is to mark the end of the year of mourning, and also to start discussing our rights as a community in a more comprehensive manner, and the Knesset is the right place for that. We also seek to address the harsh incitement against our community that leads to violence against us, and to speak systematically about the discrimination we face. Israeli law sanctions nearly 700 forms of discrimination against us.

What rights does the gay community lack in Israel in 2010?

We are often asked, “What are you marching for – you can get married if you travel to Canada, and have children if you go to India.” A text we prepared for the march addresses certain infringements on our rights, divided into five categories: health services, family rights, protection from hatred, identity rights and equality in the allocation of state resources. For instance, in the area of health care, when someone chooses to undergo sex reassignment surgery, HMO health benefit packages do not cover fertility matters such as sperm and egg storage. Such benefits, however, are offered to cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy.

The status of partners is also problematic. When someone in the community is hospitalized, it often happens that his or her partner lacks formal status [in order to visit or make any health-related decisions]. The community faces restrictions regarding adoption rights. With respect to protection from hatred, we demand stiffer penalties for offenders, and we also seek changes in the law. As it stands, the law is confined to offenders who carry out acts of terror. We would like to see other crimes of hatred recognized by law. We want government ministries to allocate far more resources to education against acts of hatred toward our community, and to education for social change.

Do you really think a march on the Knesset will bring about change?

In the week after the Bar Noar murders, we heard statements from political figures which had seldom been uttered before. It was the first time a prime minister visited a site associated with the gay community; Israel’s president also spoke out about the issue, as did ministers and Knesset members; and religious parties claimed that this was not the intention of their protests against the gay community. Statements and dynamics of this sort are what we have tried to encourage during the past year, but the community was also traumatized and in mourning.

The first anniversary marks the end of the grieving and the start of deliberation on what comes next. Changing the community’s status is the best tribute we can offer to those who were wounded or killed – we pay tribute by dedicating ourselves to preventing such an occurrence from happening again, and bringing an end to the hatred and murder.

To a great extent, such a change depends on the country’s decision makers, not on me. This is their opportunity to prove that what happened will not be repeated. This year I want to establish a pride lobby in the Knesset. On the eve of the pride parade, we are going to send a statement to all 120 Knesset members; this will be our work plan.

How will it feel to march in the capital, a year after the attack in Tel Aviv?

We are marching in Jerusalem this year for the eighth time. Every year there is fear, though in recent years the fear has somewhat abated. We were able to create a dialogue in Jerusalem that significantly reduced the opposition we had witnessed during the parade’s first years. I am not afraid of demonstrations, and we are not looking for [counter-demonstrations] – we are not marching because of the ultra-Orthodox. We are Jerusalemites and this is our city, and we are marching in it. Is it still frightening to walk down the street, hand in hand, with the person you love? The answer is yes, but we march so that there will be nothing to fear in the future.

How does it feel to walk through Jerusalem, knowing the person who committed hate crimes against your community has yet to be apprehended?

Knowing this person is still at large is very hard to take, and it impinges on our daily lives. From the day of the attack, the JOH was forced to employ a full-time guard, who checks the bags of anyone entering the building. And this routine will continue at least as long as the murderer is still at large. I believe the police force is allocating adequate resources to apprehending the perpetrator of this despicable crime. But it’s still scary. It is a danger we face on a daily basis.

Has Jerusalem become used to the LGBT community?

A few years ago, the entire city was duped by media spin that depicted the parade as something happening for the first time in Jerusalem. The parade was portrayed as being comparable to the event in Tel Aviv, which is a kind of party; the real picture of how the parade is conducted in Jerusalem, in contrast to Tel Aviv, was lost. The Jerusalem parade is devoted to rights lacked by the community. It is not a celebration, it is a demonstration. We have invested a lot of energy to reach a point where the Haredi community recognizes the difference between the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem events.

Does the JOH have any direct interaction with the ultra-Orthodox community?

We prefer not to give a detailed answer to this question, so as not to compromise those who are in contact with us. But yes, we have direct connections with representatives of the religious communities.

What is it like being a homosexual in an increasingly Orthodox city?

I’m worried about people leaving Jerusalem – including the flight of the open-minded public in general and the LGBT community in particular. We work hard to try to change this demographic pattern; we aren’t ready to give up on Jerusalem. This is a city that belongs to all of us. We choose to live here, alongside all other types of residents who dwell in the city. More than anything, the parade is a celebration of the city’s pluralism. The goal is to create a Jerusalem in which gay people will feel truly at home.

What do you say to people who wonder whether the parade is worth the provocation it causes?

I don’t think anyone uses this terminology any longer. “Provocation” is a bygone term. Just as on Jerusalem day there is a parade featuring flags, and just as there are parades for soldiers held hostage, we too are part of this reality. When another country’s prime minister comes for a visit, they close off streets; and, in the same way, they close off streets when we march. The fact that some store-owners complain about the march and say it bothers them when streets get closed is simply hypocrisy.

Why is it worth the effort to live in Jerusalem?

I grew up here, and it is very important to me that my son grow up here. The thought of raising a child in Tel Aviv is much less compelling than doing so in Jerusalem. Daily realities in this city are more powerful than any newspaper headline. Personal encounters on playgrounds between religious parents and ourselves do a lot to change the reality. Such encounters involve far less fear and hatred of the other than what we’re accustomed to seeing in the newspapers. That is where the real change takes place.

Yonatan Gher Yonatan Gher
Photo by: Tomer Appelbaum


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Preparing Signs for Pride and the English Speakers Group Does Drag

Yesterday was quite the busy night for the Jerusalem Open House.  At 7, English and Hebrew speakers alike gathered to make signs from Pride.  It was quite the diverse group – America, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain and, of course, Israel were all represented.  The posters produced were just as varied.  Some chose paint, others markers, some slogans, and others just drew pictures.  By the end of the night we nearly filled our Youth Room with signs in English, Hebrew, Arabic, and even Spanish.  It was great to have the community come together in anticipation of our yearly celebration – Jerusalem Pride – which is just over a week away.

Right after sign making, the English Speakers Group had a real treat – a drag workshop led by Hakatze’s Galina Port de Bras. The group of about 8 women and 2 men first learned about the history of drag (who knew the roots of drag can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt and Greece?) and say some classic drag queen and king performances, including excerpts from “To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything. Julie Newmar”.  You may also want to check out Ms. Port de Bras’ favorite drag king, Mr. Buck Naked, and one of the great celebrity impersonators, Canadian Christopher Peterson.

During the two and a half hour workshop we covered a lot of material, including the difference between female impersonators and drag queens, various styles of drag, gender-bending and faux drag.  Galina was also very clear in emphasizing that drag takes both charisma and brains – you can be the best performer in the world, but if there isn’t a deeper message behind that performance, if it doesn’t make people think, then the drag has yet to reach its full potential.  The night culminated with a mini drag session where we all learned how to deal with sticky-out bits and how to stand and walk like the opposite  sex.  Transforming your body and behavior to is much more difficult than it might seem.  Often you’re not even aware that the way you act is indicative of gender at all.  There are tons of tricks used to imitate a different sex and we learned about makeup, prosthetics, and clothing that can help.  Most of the clothing options sounded more than a little painful to me, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s gotta do.  Trying to talk like a man was perhaps most difficult for me since I couldn’t help but crack up as the ladies used their hands to limit their facial muscle movement, and ended up looking like Munch’s famous painting “The Scream”.  The boys had a hard time walking in an appropriately feminine way. It takes time and practice to sashay down the floor properly.  At the end of the night we put on music and had a walk off.  Just remember future drag kings: pretend you’re an angry underwear model and lead with your phallus.

Thank you to all the baby drag queens and kings for participating, and especially to our fearless leader Galina for bestowing a small portion of her seemingly endless knowledge of drag upon us.  As summer interns, Kati and I we only have one more week at the Open House (time does fly when you’re having fun in drag).  It’s been a great run and both Kati and I are sincerely going to miss this community when we go back to school, but at least we’re going out with a bang – Pride is our last day of work.  There will be one more English Speakers Group with us next Monday at 8.  We’re belting *out* some tunes, doing karaoke to kickoff Pride week.  All are welcome, so please come!

Since Kati and I are going back to the States, the JOH is looking for a new coordinator for the English Speakers Group.  We have had a blast all summer organizing events and hanging out with this wonderful community and we’re sure you would too! All are welcome to apply – Israelis or temporary residents alike – as long as you speak English fluently. To learn more, check out the facebook group looking for recruits.  You can also email us at english.joh@gmail.com.


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Setback for Jerusalem Pride

On Thursday the police denied the Jerusalem Open House’s request to march on the Knesset for Jerusalem Pride 2010, citing security concerns.  The JOH had planned to end the parade at parliament to demand further rights and protections for the LGBT community to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Bar Noar shooting in Tel Aviv.  Despite the setback, the parade will proceed along last year’s route – from Independence Park to Liberty Bell Park – on July 29th.  From the article originally printed at ynet news:

Police ban gay parade to Knesset

Gay community’s request to end Pride Parade at parliament denied. Open House chairman calls decision ‘infuriating’; Israel Religious Action Center threatens legal action

Ronen Medzini (with contributions by Shmulik Grossman)

Israel Police denied on Thursday a request by the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance to allow this year’s Gay Pride Parade slated to conclude outside the Knesset building.

Authorities demanded that the procession be held along the same route as last year’s march –from Independence Park to Liberty Bell Park.

The parade will be held on July 29 and mark the year anniversary of the shooting attack on a gay youth center in Tel Aviv that took the lives of gay youth leader Nir Katz and teenager, Liz Trubeshi. The police still do not have a lead on the identity of the perpetrator.

“The decision is infuriating,” Open House Chairman Mikie Goldstein told Ynet. “We are determined to rally for our rights – and this year we wanted to end the march at the Knesset.

“Marching to parliament is a right in every democratic country. We get the sense that it is easier for the police to tell us, ‘March along last year’s route.'”

Open House said in a statement that police had delayed the response to the community’s request for more than a month and eventually decided that the gay community cannot march in public places.” The Israel Religious Action Center has requested Israel Police to reverse its decision and threatened to take legal action in case it refuses to do so. Open House Director Yonatan Gar expressed his disappointment with the police’s conduct. “On the anniversary of the murder at the gay youth center, the gay community asks to exercise its democratic right to march to the Knesset, the most fitting site to protest against the ongoing discrimination and the wild incitement that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals suffer throughout Israel.

“The police’s puzzling refusal to allow the event to be held is illegal, and even dangerous. It is best that the police invest its resources in finding the murderer instead of violating the gay community’s freedom of expression,” Gar said.

The police confirmed that the Open House’s request was rejected out of “security and safety concerns.” However, they claim that two alternative locations were offered: the Liberty Bell Park or the Rose Garden. “We are awaiting the response of the Open House in order to conclude the matter,” the police reported.


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JOH Fights for the Rights of Gay Fathers

The Jerusalem Open House (specifically our fearless director Jonathan Ger) recently took action in the now famous case where a gay couple were refused the right to bring their children – twins born to a surrogate in India – into Israel by filing a formal letter of protest accusing Family Court Judge Philip Marcus of discrimination based on sexual orientation. As published in Haaretz:

Gay rights group alleges discrimination, protests against judge who wouldn’t let twins into Israel

By Tomer Zarchin published 01:52 03.06.10

A gay rights advocacy group filed a complaint yesterday against the judge who handled the case of a gay man stranded in India with the twins he fathered, who were born to a surrogate mother there.

Jonathan Ger, who heads the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, submitted a letter of protest on the group’s behalf to the judiciary ombudsman, former Supreme Court justice Eliezer Goldberg, accusing Family Court Judge Philip Marcus of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Judge Phillip Marcus

“We are appealing to you with a heavy heart and from a sense of humiliation and grievous harm caused by a Jerusalem Family Court judge,” wrote Ger, whose complaint also accused Marcus of discriminating against two other gay fathers attempting to bring their children into the country from India.

“Disturbingly, these three fathers of children who were born via surrogacy are discriminated against in a legal proceeding solely due to their sexual preferences,” the complaint said.

The twins – a boy and girl born to an Indian woman who was serving as a surrogate mother for the father, Dan Goldberg, and his partner – were denied entry to Israel because Marcus ruled that he did not have the authority to approve the paternity test that would allow the children to become Israeli citizens. Goldberg and his children have since arrived in the country.

The twins, Itai and Liron, with their parents arriving in Israel last week.

In all three cases cited in the complaint, Marcus said he did not have the authority to approve a paternity test for children born to surrogate mothers from India, even though other Israeli judges have routinely authorized the test for dozens of other gay couples.

In the Goldberg hearing, Marcus said if one of the men seeking to raise the children turns out to be “a pedophile or serial killer, these are things that the state must examine.”

Marcus’ ruling left Goldberg stranded in a Mumbai hotel with the babies, Itai and Liron, until Goldberg won the case on appeal. Media reports of the case sparked outrage last month, and prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to instruct the Interior Ministry to “relax the law” and permit the family to return to the country.

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  • Published 01:52 03.06.10
  • Latest update 01:52 03.06.10

Gay rights group alleges discrimination, protests against judge who wouldn’t let twins into Israel

By Tomer Zarchin

A gay rights advocacy group filed a complaint yesterday against the judge who handled the case of a gay man stranded in India with the twins he fathered, who were born to a surrogate mother there.

Jonathan Ger, who heads the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, submitted a letter of protest on the group’s behalf to the judiciary ombudsman, former Supreme Court justice Eliezer Goldberg, accusing Family Court Judge Philip Marcus of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“We are appealing to you with a heavy heart and from a sense of humiliation and grievous harm caused by a Jerusalem Family Court judge,” wrote Ger, whose complaint also accused Marcus of discriminating against two other gay fathers attempting to bring their children into the country from India.

“Disturbingly, these three fathers of children who were born via surrogacy are discriminated against in a legal proceeding solely due to their sexual preferences,” the complaint said.

The twins – a boy and girl born to an Indian woman who was serving as a surrogate mother for the father, Dan Goldberg, and his partner – were denied entry to Israel because Marcus ruled that he did not have the authority to approve the paternity test that would allow the children to become Israeli citizens. Goldberg and his children have since arrived in the country.

In all three cases cited in the complaint, Marcus said he did not have the authority to approve a paternity test for children born to surrogate mothers from India, even though other Israeli judges have routinely authorized the test for dozens of other gay couples.

In the Goldberg hearing, Marcus said if one of the men seeking to raise the children turns out to be “a pedophile or serial killer, these are things that the state must examine.”

Marcus’ ruling left Goldberg stranded in a Mumbai hotel with the babies, Itai and Liron, until Goldberg won the case on appeal. Media reports of the case sparked outrage last month, and prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to instruct the Interior Ministry to “relax the law” and permit the family to return to the country.


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A Letter from Yonatan Gher

“A Personal Message to the Modern-Orthodox Reader” by Yonatan Gher, as published in the Jerusalem Post:

Dear brother, dear sister,

My aim in writing this letter is to take advantage of the hideous acts of violence Ya’acov Teitel is accused of to create dialogue, and to understand each other better.

I’d like to begin by introducing myself: I’m Yonatan. Thirty-one years old, I grew up in Jerusalem in a family that is part secular, part Conservative and part Orthodox.

Today I live in Jerusalem with my partner, and he and I are raising our son, who is now one year old. I began serving as executive director of the Jerusalem Open House a year and a half ago.

My predecessor, an amazing woman named Noa Sattath, led the Open House and our community during a time of unprecedented violence and incitement directed against us. She was forced at times to employ bodyguards, and was the target – so we’ve learned now – of what police believe were Teitel-made explosive devices. All this to assure her right, and mine and that of any LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) person to walk the streets of the city in which we grew up.

And what a wonderful story it was for the media: “the gays vs. the religious.” And how quickly we all hurried to play our roles: more posters, more riots and as many TV debates as we could fit into our day. This was a necessary phase for our community; it established our legal and moral right to march and protest and state that we are part of this city and are here to stay.

But this achievement came at a high price. We lost you, because we each became convinced that we are opposites, at two extremes of one continuum. Thank God so many members of our community are religious, to help remind us that this is not so.

IN THE past two years, the name of the Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance has been ahavat hinam, infinite love, to counter the sinat hinam, or causeless hatred that surrounded our marches in previous years. This is not merely a cosmetic change, but manifests a shift in our approach. We built a subtle relationship, which led to the disappearance of the haredi riots. We held numerous meetings with Modern Orthodox leaders, and every journalist knows today that we consistently refuse to take part in public debates of the “gay person vs. kippa-wearing person” style.

It is important to us to counter the assumption that our communities are opposites. We have far more in common than not. You and I both want to live in this city in peace. You and I both feel like a minority singled out by the surrounding society. You and I both oppose violence and are horrified by Teitel’s actions.

It’s important to me that you know – though your opinion may not be positive with regard to messianic Jews, leftists, Palestinians or gay people – that I do not suspect that you wanted, or even secretly hoped for acts of violence such as Teitel’s.

I believe you when you condemn these atrocities. But I also believe that Ya’acov Teitel thinks otherwise. That is what separates plain crime from hate crime: the (mistaken!) belief that the perpetrator’s social circle is pleased by the actions of the “anonymous hero.”

For this reason, the burden is on all of us to act responsibly when we converse.

In 2006, in the heat of the violence surrounding Jerusalem Pride, someone profaned the Chabad synagogue on Rehov Sheinkin in Tel Aviv. This was an act of violence which I condemn unequivocally, and remains in my mind as a constant reminder that individuals may act as a result of my words.

My request to you is that you remember this as well. I will happily engage in a discussion about the meaning of Leviticus 18:22 (“You shall not lie with a man as with a woman”), but I expect you to make it clear in that conversation that the value of human life, especially as sanctified in the commandment “thou shalt not murder,” remains the highest Jewish value.

On my part, I will continue to speak against collective finger-pointing against you, and will continue to fight side by side with you for your rights, with the same conviction as I fight for mine.


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In the Shadow of the Attack

A note from chair of the borad Mikie Goldstein, cross-posted from the JGooders Blog:

The Hebrew month of Elul heralds a period of introspection, culminating with Yom Kippur. Together with the regular new year ruminations of LGBTQ people in Israel, our community leaders must also reflect on the aftereffects of the Tel Aviv attack and what that means for our future.

By name the Open House, we are now also the “Locked House,” with a security guard checking people before allowing them in.  The decision to adopt this security measure was complex: not just due to the added financial cost, but also because the JOH is home to Palestinian LGBTQ non-profit Alqaws.  Safer, yet sending mixed messages to our public.

It is significant that the attack has drawn substantial attention to widespread homophobia in the country.  Less important is “who” the killer is, or the motives (although these facts will also have an impact).  We must translate this new awareness into an action plan to fight homophobia, in a way that will bring us closer as a society and not further polarize us.

Alongside keynote speaker President Shimon Peres, three government ministers turned up at the Tel Aviv rally a week after the attack.  Can we transform the promises, made by the Education, Culture and Social Welfare ministers that evening, into actions that will fight homophobia and grant our community equal rights?  Israeli society must also contend with our concerns, which will (hopefully) have implications on other issues under national debate.

There can be no doubt that this terrible, unthinkable attack at the Bar Noar (Youth Bar) in Tel Aviv will be a turning point for the LGBTQ community in Israel.  Two young people were murdered, 13 physically wounded, and many more injured by shock and trauma.

The biggest sin of this outrageous murder will be allowing it to pass without bringing change for our community.  The memory of Liz Trobishi and Nir Katz must not be lost through inaction, but should be kept alive through the advancement of civil and legal rights for LGBTQ people and the recruiting of all sectors of Israeli society against the homophobia.

On behalf of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year, a year of safety, good health and freedom from the fetters with which others wish to restrain us. Shana Tova – Happy New Year!


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Finding Meaning Amidst Meaningless Bloodshed

A note from Yonatan Gher, director of the Jerusalem Open House:

If there is a word that accompanied me more than any other over this past week, the word would be “meaning”.

On Saturday night, August 1st, a masked gunman walked into the “youthbar” – a social youth program run by the Tel Aviv LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) association – lifted an automatic machine-gun and began shooting aimlessly and killing two people, 25 year-old Nir Katz – a volunteer youth counsellor, and 16 year-old Liz Trobashi, and wounding ten others before fleeing into the night. He has yet to be apprehended.

Starting that evening, many words have been spoken about this hideous massacre. The automatic response of many was to blame: To blame the ultra-orthodox leadership for the ongoing incitement against the LGBT community, likely to have led to a religious-based hate crime against our community. They, in turn, issued a condemnation of the murder, stating (for the first time ever) that LGBT people are human-beings and that violence against the LGBT community is contradictory to the Jewish teachings. They continued to suggest, that in their opinion the culprit is likely to be a “self-hating homosexual”. In light of this meaningless murder, everyone wants to apply some kind of meaning.

While the crime remains unsolved, in my opinion the exact background of the shooter is irrelevant, as in all cases there is one common-denominator: hatred. Hatred which does not need to wait for religious leaders to develop, as it exists everywhere: in schools, where one kid is likely to say “you fag” or “that’s so gay” to another kid for messing up his move in a ball game. It exists on the street, where two men or two women walking hand-in-hand are likely to be heckled. It exists when a transgender woman is forbidden to use the lady’s room in public toilets. It exists in the language we use, in the prejudices we apply to minorities in our society, in the names we call another driver on the road.

Over this past week, the LGBT community received overwhelming support from all parts of society: On the sunday following the murder, Prime-Minister Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting with a condemnation of the tragedy, demanding that the police do all in their power to solve the crime. The Minister of Internal Security, and Ministers of Education, Culture and Welfare all came out with powerful statements of support, visiting the site of the murder, joining vigils and the mass rally held this past Saturday – attended by over seventy-thousand people. President Shimon Peres – who in 2006 came out in strong words against the holding of the international pride march in Jerusalem, spoke about the need to preserve every person’s human rights. Culture Minister Limor Livnat, who over the years has voted consistently against every bill which attempted to improve the LGBT community’s rights, spoke of how Israel is one of the most liberal countries when it comes to LBGT rights and should continue to be so. One could find cynicism here, but I prefer to see it as soul-searching, maybe as a way for these leaders to apply meaning to what happened.

At the Jerusalem Open House, on the night of the murder we immediately opened our community center, to which tens of people flocked throughout the night; teenagers, who’s friends were at the site of the murder and their fate was yet unknown; the community elders, who are accustomed to speaking of the homophobia in their day, shocked by where things have come to. All these people, amidst our staff of social workers and youth counselors, joined together to support each other, to cry together, to strengthen each other, and to try and apply meaning to what had happened. Routinely, when we approach the Pride events in Jerusalem every year, these people are used to hearing the statement “But why in Jerusalem? Go to Tel Aviv where you belong”. On that night, there was no escape from the thought that there is no “Tel Aviv where we belong”, there is only one society which we are all a part of, a society with increasingly hateful rhetoric, which in 2005 led to the stabbing of three people in the Jerusalem Pride March, and led to this shooting in Tel Aviv.

We will continue to search for meaning. Meaning will be a change in the public discourse. Meaning will be a Rabbi or public official who might think twice next time, before condemning the LGBT community and talking about it being against the word of God – the God who must have been off duty when these kids were slaughtered. Meaning will be the politicians putting action behind their strong words, and to continue to do so after all has settled and the headlines move on to the next story. Such meaning will be our way to commemorate the lives of Nir and Liz.