When you give to Federation’s Annual Campaign, you ensure that the Jewish Agency for Israel – one of our major Israel & overseas partners – can continue its imperative work strengthening bonds among Jewish communities worldwide. Below, JAFI’s Achiya Ben Ari Buganim shares a recent update about the organization’s Home in the Valley social enterprise.
Home in the Valley is a center that combines all of the information, programs, events, and professional work in the Afula–Gilboa region and its surroundings for the benefit of the LGBTQ+ community. This social enterprise helps to create tolerance, equality, and acceptance for local LGBTQ+ youth, adults, families, and community members across organizations, educational institutions, and local authorities and in our society at large. Home in the Valley is supported by the Southern New England Consortium (SNEC) of Jewish Federations as part of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2Gether initiative.
Recently, when decreasing cases of COVID-19 allowed, Home in the Valley held several events —including a picnic for families, a community trip to Mt. Gilboa, a joint Kabbalat Shabbat and graffiti-painting event for teens, street parties, and a "Pride the Living Room" event, where members of the LGBTQ+ community met with the general population to talk about the challenges they face.
We also launched an official Pride Forum to generate new collaborations and create an infrastructure for action. The forum will allow us to expand our response for the benefit of Afula-Gilboa’s LGBTQ+ community.
Perhaps the most memorable event was our Pride flag raising ceremony, held in the plaza of the Gilboa Regional Council. It represented equality, tolerance, and coexistence for everyone who lives in our region.
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Above: Home in the Valley’s Pride flag raising ceremony in the Gilboa Regional Council plaza. Image courtesy of JAFI.