The HAVRUTA – RELIGIOUS GAYS NGO (ISRAEL) is a religious community of gay men who belong to the religious society and work together to achieve tolerance and acceptance to LGBT individuals in the religious society.
Havruta was founded in 2007 to assist Jewish gays. Our organization offers a social and support network for religious LGBT people in Israel. Our organization also actively work to inform and educate the religious public about LGBT issues in their communities. Through the work of our organization, some religious leaders are now boldly speaking publicly and freely about LGBT issues. Educators and counselors now turn to our organization for guidance and information. Through outreach and education we aim to break down stereotypes, and encourage a religious culture that is tolerant and understanding for all who are different whether by gender, race or religion.
- Furthering real acceptance of LGBT individuals and LGBT families in religious communities
- Forming a proud outgoing religious LGBT community, active around the year and enriching its members ‘day to day’ life
- Havruta believes that everyone is worthy of a positive and fearless life regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity
- Havruta believes that its members have every right to live a religious life as individuals and as a community
- Havurta believes that it is the responsibility of the religious public to fully accept LGBT individuals and families as equal partners of their community
- Havruta sees great importance in bridging the religious society and the LGBT community
- Creating dialogue within the religious society by enabling access to relevant knowledge and by organizing and participating in conferences
- Initiating encounters with religious leaders educators and other people forming religious public opinion, in order to further dialogue
- Creating smaller groups within Havruta in order to meet specific needs of our community: an English speaking group (HEG), a conceptual meeting group (Beit Midrash) dealing with new ideas, a group intended for young adults who are dealing with issues while ‘coming out’ as gay, a group for religious gay parents
- Community Life: organizing prayer services, Shabbat meals, hikes and social events. Havruta organizes several Shabbat weekend retreats every year (Shabbatonim) intended for its active members. These weekend retreats are focused on internal discussions, guest speakers and community building in a supportive and friendly atmosphere
- Enabling access to knowledge over the internet: The Havruta website is updated constantly with information and relevant opinion articles found on the internet or original content written by Havruta members. Havruta also publishes a pamphlet titled B'Reish Galei, distributed in synagogues throughout Israel. The name in Aramaic means “speaking out in a non-shy manner.”
- Havruta operates a hotline and an online service providing support for individuals seeking advice.
- Coming Out: as a proud community, Havruta participates in Pride Marches and various pride activities throughout Israel making our unique voice heard and visible in the media
- Havruta participates and works alongside other LGBT organizations and other religious organizations in and outside Israel
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