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40 Years of Pride – Global Conference in Tel Aviv this June

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The 40 Years of Pride conference, organized by The Aguda and A Wider Bridge, will bring together a diverse group of LGBTQ leaders from around the world this summer in Israel from June 9th – June 11th.

For two and a half days, leaders from around the world will gather in the heart of Tel Aviv, home to a dynamic and vibrant LGBTQ community, to inspire and strengthen each other, build skills and networks, and celebrate 40 years of LGBTQ progress in Israel, all culminating with the ever-fabulous weekend of Tel Aviv Pride, a celebration that attracts 150,000 people from across the world. 

This, the first global LGBTQ leadership summit to be held in Tel Aviv, marks a major milestone: 40 years of LGBTQ pride, progress, and community-building in Israel. The conference will represent dozens of nations and communities, with an array of religious and secular practices, people of many races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities. 

Arthur Slepian, Executive Director of A Wider Bridge, states: “A Wider Bridge and The Aguda are LGBTQ organizations that each see that part of our respective missions is to be an active player in the global LGBTQ struggle for equality. This conference is a vehicle to move that struggle forward in a positive way. We hope this conference leads to a framework for greater global collaboration.”

Slepian adds, “We are holding this conference in Israel because we believe the Israeli LGBTQ community has something important to add to the global conversation about LGBTQ rights. There are so many places in the world where LGBT people face severe oppression and cannot be open: Russia, China, most of Africa and the Middle East, among others. Israel is a society that is open enough to have created an environment where it has been possible for an LGBTQ community to grow and develop, and stand up for itself. This community deserves to be a part of our global conversation about LGBTQ equality.”

The community in Israel has made great progress and also faces many challenges, and these challenges will provide a backdrop for many of the discussions at the conference. Some of the issues to be discussed include: the role of religion and faith in the movement for LGBTQ equality, LGBTQ legal activism across the globe, the struggle for transgender rights and economic empowerment, making our communities and schools a better place for LGBTQ teens, the challenges faced by minorities within a country’s LGBTQ community, and what we can learn from the United States’ success with marriage equality.  

M. Christophe Girard, Mayor of the Fourth Arrondissement of Paris since July 2012, will be the opening keynote speaker, and Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle, will deliver the closing keynote address. Other speakers at 40 Years of Pride include Jennifer Pizer (Lambda Legal), Karine Jean-Pierre (Columbia University), Marsha Botzer (The Ingersoll Gender Center), Vincent Jones (Reinvent Communications), James Kirchick (The Daily Beast), Rev. Dr. Monica Corsaro (United Methodist Church), Alice Kessler (Equality California), Maria Federico-Moscati (Sussex School of Law), Frederick Hertz (Attorney and Mediator), Davis Mac-Iyalla (Nigerian LGBT activist), Brad Sears (The Williams Institute), and Vince Garcia (The Point Foundation).

During the conference guests will travel to the historic city of Jerusalem to tour the Old City, visit Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial & museum), and meet with key Israeli policy makers and community leaders in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament). There will also be a celebration featuring leading Israeli musical and artistic performances. The conference will culminate with the Tel Aviv Pride celebration, where this year’s theme is transgender rights and visibility.

To join A Wider Bridge, The Aguda, and LGBTQ leaders from around the world for an amazing week, highlighted by Israel’s first ever global LGBTQ leadership conference 40 Years of Pride, register here: 

About The Aguda:

The Aguda, the National Israeli LGBT Task Force, established 40 years ago, in 1975, serves as a human rights organization working to improve the lives of LGBT people. The Aguda focuses on three areas of expertise: advocacy, health and well-being, and community empowerment.
Learn more here: 

About A Wider Bridge:

A Wider Bridge is North America’s pro-Israel LGBTQ organization, building bridges between North American LGBTQ people and Israel. AWB focuses on building meaningful and sustainable personal connections, providing LGBTQ individuals and organizations in North America and Israel with opportunities for engagement, education, and experience. Learn more here:


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