World Zionist Congress Passes Recognition of Support for the LGBT Community

The 37th World Zionist Congress, currently taking place in Jerusalem, is making history. The resolution “Recognition of Support for the LGBT Community” passed at the World Zionist Congress with 62 percent of the delegates voting in favor.

The resolution, which was was proposed by Artzenu group and the World Federation of Reform Judaism, calls for support in the LGBT community and forbids discrimination against LGBT people in Zionist Institutions. The decision also calls on Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet to increase the support in community organizations that work in creating safe space for LGBT people, and increase budgetary support in community education organizations.

“It’s been a lively discussion, in which, unfortunately, a few representatives tried to stop and demolish the decision,” says Assaf Weiss, a member of the Zionist Congress. “I said in the discussion that the homicide that occurred in the Jerusalem Pride Parade just a few months ago, and the values of democracy and Zionism obligate the Congress to state a clear position towards the LGBT community, and to call for education programs for tolerance towards sexual orientation and gender identity in every school in Israel.”

Following the lengthy and painful discussion yesterday, the voting was today, and the bill passed with a large majority.

“I was proud to be a delegate to the World Zionist Congress as we adopted a resolution of support for the LGBT community,” said Arthur Slepian, Executive Director of A Wider Bridge and a member of the World Zionist Congress. “This was an important and historic vote, especially in light of the heinous attack at the Jerusalem Pride March that took the life of Shira Banki and left many others injured. Moreover, this was one of several key resolutions passed by the Congress that reflected the importance of the participation by progressive Jews in the elections that select the delegates to the Congress.”

About the Author
Yanir Dekel has a decade of experience in entertainment, journalism, and digital media in Israel and the U.S. He headed PR for Helicon Records - one of the top two Record Labels in Israel - for several years before moving to LA in April of 2009. Yanir now works as an "Online Outreach" and content administration freelancer, managing content and social media, as well as providing graphics for online and print.