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About Us

 

What makes us Havruta?

Who Are We?

Havruta is an organization for LGBTQ+ people who are on the religious spectrum. Havruta works internally to support community empowerment, outwardly to accept queer people in religious society, and to strengthen the Jewish identity in the LGBTQ+ community.

What do we believe?

We at Havruta believe in a religious life that matches our sexual orientation and gender identity openly, without a closet and shame. We see ourselves and our families as part of a religious society and believe in the reality and possibilities of living as religious people while identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Building a Proud Religious Community

Our organization works to build a solid and united LGBTQ+ religious community that includes social groups throughout the State of Israel. These groups serve as a home and safe space for LGBTQ+ people on all sides of the religious spectrum, whether that be Orthodox, Ultra-Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, converts, ex-religious people, or others. Havruta holds cultural and social activities within the Jewish Calendar, bringing a religious angle to the events of the queer community in Israel.

Opening and Promoting the Conversation

Havruta promotes an inclusive and accepting discourse within religious society through meetings with rabbis and critical figures in religious media and by creating a lively and diverse Torah discussion on the LGBTQ+ topic. Havruta advocates for religious queer Jews by working to change public policy on queer individuals within the government and promote the recognition of same-sex relationships to raise families as a pillar of healthy life for religious LGBTQ+ people. Havruta is also the leading force in combating false and dangerous conversion therapies for LGBTQ individuals within religious communities. 

We work to promote the public discourse for the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people in religious society on several levels: 

  • Visibility and recognition of religious LGBTQ individuals online and in public spaces.
  • Holding ongoing discourse with rabbis, rabbaniyot, Halacha teachers, and public figures within the religious community.
  • Promoting the familiarity of media organizations and content providers of the religious public with the queer religious community.
  • We cooperate with the Shoval organization to provide lectures and talks to groups and schools nationwide throughout the year.
  • Partnering with projects encouraging inclusion and tolerance in Israeli society (such as the annual Pesach Sheni events). 

Goals and Values

1. Having unique programming alongside striving for integration into the community

The organization works to enable members of a religious society or those with religious affiliations who identify with the LGBTQ+ community to live peacefully with their sexual and gender identity. Havruta works to maintain and create new structures for these individuals to assist them with integrating into general and religious societies. Additionally, we work hand in hand with other organizations with similar goals and values.

2. Religious Community and Services

Havruta is a community for LGBTQ individuals with any religious affiliation and will respond to their unique needs, working to empower those individuals within their communities. Within this, the organization establishes frameworks for intra-community discourse and communication and works toward the existence of personal and familial religious ceremonies.

3. Individual assistance and support

Our organization, in connection with professional institutions, assists and supports members of the queer religious community and their families. It will work to promote and secure their rights, specifically with the unique needs of young LGBTQ individuals within religious communities.

4. Changing the Public Discourse

Havruta promotes social awareness and encourages public discourse regarding the existence, acceptance, and needs of individuals with different sexual and gender orientations. We hold unmediated meetings with religious leaders, educators, rabbis, and shapers of public opinion. Our organization works to dispel prejudices, change social attitudes, and promote tolerance and acceptance toward people of different sexual and gender identities within religious and general society.

5. Information Center on Cultural Issues based in Torah

Havruta provides reliable, up-to-date information and knowledge on issues and topics related to different sexual orientations and gender differences in general while also referring to the unique aspects of these issues faced by members of a religious society or individuals with religious affiliations.