The Aliyah Confessions – Meet The New LGBTQ Kids On The Block
Every year more and more people do Aliyah, setting up a new life in the country of their dreams. Some live with “the right of return” for religious reasons, others are driven by the spirit of Zionism, and of course there are those who simply feel like Israel is just more fun than living anywhere else.
4 LGBTQ olim who shared their motives and inspirations with me, why they decided to make the big move…
The one who moved for love
My name is Roy Freeman. I’m 42. I moved from Australia, but I was born in the UK. I work as a freelance technical instructor in the hi-tech industry and in my spare time I organize social groups for LGBT English-speakers in Tel Aviv and olim.
I made Aliyah in 2012. The main reason for doing so was that I was (and still am) in a relationship with an Israeli guy that I met in Australia and he wanted to return home so I chose to move here to be with him. I think being LGBTQ in Israel is safer and in some ways easier than in many other countries, even in Europe and the US. I have friends who have visited Lebanon and one who lives in UAE and they have reported back a thriving underground gay scene. While this is a positive sign, the fact that it’s all underground saddens me.
The one who was looking for safety
My name is Dmitry, or Dima, I’m 41. I’m chief accountant. I’m from Russia. As I’m still doing my “ulpan alef”, I’m mostly focused on learning the language.
I moed in October 2015. The main reasons are that the Russian authorities initiated anti gay activities – in fact they forbid gay people to adopt kids, while Israel recognizes the rights of same sex couples. I feel safe, and I’m not afraid, I don’t feel judged, and I never feel like fingers are pointed in public – and for me, that’s security.
The one who came for holidays, and decided to stay
I’m Jay Golden, 31, I am a hairdresser from Los Angeles. I moved here 3 years ago. I was here living on a kibbutz for five months and ten days before I was going back to the US I met my partner. Three months later I made Aliyah.
It’s a complicated time and the way some people are just becoming more and more extreme is very frightening. Religion should not control our family life – not here, and not elsewhere, but sadly this doesn’t look like it’s about to change anytime soon.
The one who always knew she’ll end up here
My name is Rosalind Glazer, 52. I am a reconstructionist Rabbi from the Northern California Coast. I already wanted to make Aliyah at age 9 when my family left Israel after two years being here during my father’s assignment to begin the “start-up” nation – that is – pioneer the computer industry!
Now we have lots of women and lesbian rabbis in Israel – many ordained here – and the alternative Jewish landscape has broadened and become more accepted. Only through education can we eliminate homophobia that stems from ignorance!
Read my full article in the January issue of Time Out Israel’s English edition – it’s free, pick it up at the hotels and visitor centers across Israel. Follow the blog on Instagram @WhiteCityBoy and luv my FB page for daily TLV candy.