LGBT festival set up in memory of Jerusalem Pride stabbing victim brought online
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LGBT festival set up in memory of Jerusalem Pride stabbing victim brought online

The LGBTQ equality association behind the festival said the project will include talks with rabbis, activists and influencers from around the world

The Aguda chief executive officer Ohad Hizki (credit: Omri Shapira)
The Aguda chief executive officer Ohad Hizki (credit: Omri Shapira)

An LGBTQ festival, launched in memory of Israeli teenager Shira Banki who was killed at a Jerusalem Pride parade in 2015, is to be brought online for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pride in the Livingroom project – a programme of events with speakers from across the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender spectrum –  was first launched in 2017 “to share and expose the public to personal stories” of those in the community.

The Aguda, the Israeli LGBTQ equality association behind the festival, said the project, to run this year from 3 to 7 August, will include talks with rabbis, activists and influencers from around the world.

Among them is Rabbi Joel Alter, of Milwaukee’s Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid in the United States. “I’ve known for a long time that choosing between being Jewish and being gay is an absurd, false choice. I’m a better Jew for being gay, and a more grounded gay man for being Jewish,” he said.

Fellow US-based speaker Yuval David, from New York, said the project “brings pride directly to people in a personal way.” He added: “Times of strife require times of unity to guide us to a better place.  We are stronger when we each express our truest selves.  And, we are stronger when united together.”

The Aguda’s chief executive officer Ohad Hizki said Banki’s stabbing, and the shooting on a gay community centre in Tel Aviv in 2009, both serve to “remind us that we must stand up together against hate and create dialogue that brings us all closer to each other.”

For more details about individual talks, visit the web page www.lgbt.org.il/pride-in-the-livingroom.

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