The JOH and Ministry for Social Equality Community Development Program

The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance is proud to present a unique pilot program for the advancement and development of the LGBTQ community of Jerusalem in partnership with the Ministry of Social Equality!

In 2021, under the leadership of Minister Merav Cohen, the ministry of social equality made it their mission to promote and advance LGBTQ culture throughout Israel and challenge the idea that queer culture, people, and lives can only be found in the major cities of the country. The ministry sent out a call for proposals for local authorities and municipalities to participate in this mission. The ministry would provide funding for new programs and positions in local authorities and cities. 

Over 70 local authorities and municipalities rose to the occasion, knowing that the LGBTQ people living in their towns and cities would enjoy the riches of this opportunity.

Unfortunately, though we  were not surprised, the largest municipal authority and capital city of Israel, Jerusalem, did not rise to the occasion. A gap was felt both by the ministry of social equality and the LGBTQ community of Jerusalem. 

It is in this gap we stepped in. In partnership with the government, we created a pilot program to benefit Jerusalem’s queer community and, in doing so, repair the disparity between the city and its queer residents.

The Trans Day of Visibility, March 2022

In order to address the diverse and intersecting issues, we developed these six new programs for the 2022 Pilot Program: 

  • The Trans Community – Providing a support network for individuals and families and cultivating a needs-based program to push the trans community in Jerusalem forward. 
  • The Arabic Speaking LGBTQ Community – Making accessible the services and content of everything the Jerusalem LGBTQ community has to offer.
  • The LGBTQ Religious Community – Community development and building for religious community members through holiday events, support groups, and religious community events.
  • Employment Opportunities – Offering “soft skills” acquisition to gain traction in the workplace and provide a course where potential employees can plan their entry into the workplace. 
  • Workplace Diversity – Working with organizations and large employers in Jerusalem to make sure that once LGBTQ community members are in a workplace, the workplace is a place where they can develop and grow and stay for years to come.
  • The Promotion of Tolerance – By providing opportunities for the general public in Jerusalem to participate in LGBTQ community events, it becomes clear how woven queer lives and culture are with the city.

The Queer Beit Midrash Conference, April 2022

We hope to create opportunities for the most marginalized members of our community and simultaneously promote social change from the grassroots and the top. With the support and partnership of the government we will change the face of Jerusalem, pushing the LGBTQ community forward by leaps and bounds. Queer lives, people, and culture are part of the fabric of Israel’s capital city, and we aim to make sure that the city supports its LGBTQ citizens and residents from every sector and population.