The Jewish Community Centers of Dallas, Austin and Houston are organizing an LGBT trip to Israel for Tel Aviv Pride celebration.
Tel Aviv is known as the gay capital of the Middle East. The city’s LGBT population has grown to an estimated 20 percent as the city has become a refuge for many of Russia’s persecuted gay population. American Airlines named Tel Aviv best gay city in 2011.
The Pride parade takes place on Friday, June 8.
Aliza Orent, director of Jewish life and learning at the Austin JCC, put the trip together.
“This trip is timed to overlap with the multitude of Pride events occurring in Israel in June and in particular with the Tel Aviv Pride Parade and the International LGBT Film Festival,” Orent said. “The JCCA Boarding Pass trip has been designed to highlight all that is unique and incredible about Israel and provides a fabulous and inclusive itinerary that feature exclusively designed opportunities.”
More than 100,000 people attend the Tel Aviv Pride Parade.
The 12-day trip also includes visits to Jerusalem, Masada, the Dead Sea, Acco, Lake Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee), the Golan Heights and more.
The group will meet with founders of a religious gay group in Jerusalem and members of the LGBT community in Tel Aviv. Other trip highlights include cooking an Israeli meal with a professional chef, welcoming Shabbat with music and song at the Port of Tel Aviv, staying on a kibbutz, visiting an army base to learn about gays in the military and attending the LGBT film festival in Tel Aviv.
“We will have conversations with leaders in the Israeli LGBTQ movement, as well as meet with people whose lives have often been in the shadows of the Orthodox communities learning how they have integrated their relationship with their spirituality and their identity as gay citizens of Israel,” Orent said.
The trip is open to all religions.
For more information, contact organizer Aliza Orent by email or call 512-735-8030.