Israel’s president welcomes LGBTQ delegation from North America



Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addresses visiting leaders from North America's LGBTQ community on Tuesday. Credit: Eyal Warsavsky.

( Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday welcomed leaders from the LGBTQ community who were visiting Israel with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

“This is a historic trip because it’s the largest ever of LGBTQ Jews to the state of Israel and it’s coming at time when discussions around LGBTQ rights are attracting a lot of attention in both countries. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to have an open exchange and find out about how to support each other in our search for equality,” said Stuart Kurlander, a leader in the Jewish Federation and LGBTQ communities.

Rivlin spoke about Israel’s diverse society and how “there is no gap between Israel as a Jewish state, and Israel as a democracy.”

“I hope that this visit will help you, look beyond the headlines, and see that despite the challenges, Israel is still a beacon of democracy and equality in the Middle East, and the world,” Rivlin said.

“We look forward to your continued advocacy for equality and tolerance. As American, Jewish, LGBT leaders, we stand beside you and our counterparts in Israel as we push ahead toward a better future for all,” said Kurlander.

Posted on May 31, 2016 .