the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance
The Jerusalem LGBTQ community is growing surer of itself every day amongst a city that is learning to recognize the legitimacy of our presence yet much work remains to be done. Situated in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Open House (JOH) provides a safe and open environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, and allies.
Established in 1997, this grassroots organization has worked to make Jerusalem a city where all people are free to seek self-fulfillment and happiness. When the JOH was founded in 1997, few even knew there were LGBTQ people in Jerusalem and almost no one believed we would create and sustain a vibrant communal institution. Eight years later, as the rainbow flag dances over our downtown headquarters, we continue to build on our remarkable record of achievement.
Our greatest challenge is confronting the tradition of conformist heterosexism that continues to be enforced by almost all social institutions in Israel, including the family, the school, the state, and religious establishments. This challenge is especially formidable in Jerusalem, a city of strong traditional values and deeply rooted religious commitments.
Through all our trials, we continue to raise our voices together, so that our message echoes across the ancient hills: Tolerance has a home in Jerusalem.
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