Organization for GLBT Youth

אתר הבית
Email address:
Office Phone: 972-3-5602130

Who we are and why we're here?

Since the first days of the gay movement in Israel, there was an obvious need for youth activities. Gay youth meetings discretely took place primarily in private homes.

A decade ago, the Organization for Gay and Lesbians in Israel (a.k.a. the “Aguda”) made a controversial decision back then, to form an official youth group. The youth’s participation exceeded any expectations and for the subsequent decade, additional youth groups similar to the one in Tel-Aviv were opened.

The expansion of activities throughout Israel led to the foundation of the Israeli Gay Youth Organization in 2002. The organization is responsible for co-activating the different groups, expanding group activities and providing professional services to the different needs of gay youth in Israel.

The Israeli Gay Youth Organization operates on a voluntary basis and targets youth at 15-18 and senior youth at 18-23, above the age of army conscription.

The Israeli Gay Youth Organization is now an independent organization (Amuta), yet remains loosely affiliated with the Organization for Gay and Lesbians in Israel (“Aguda”), a nonprofit nationwide organization promoting the status of the GLBT community in Israel since 1975.

Israeli Gay Youth is governed by a Board of Directors (see Attachment I) and is recognized by the Israeli Government as an official support organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth (Attachment II).

The Yom Tov Foundation, the Municipality of Herziliya and the Municipality of Tel Aviv comprise the organization’s current major financial support. The balance of funding is contributed from private individuals.

What are we doing?

The organization supports youth through the difficult stages of defining their sexual orientation, which is often confusing and painful. During this period, teenagers become aware of their sexual feelings. In addition, the organization provides the framework for out-of-the-closet youth who are willing to contribute to the struggle for gay youth status, promoting equal lefts and the fight against hatred and homophobia.

The Israeli Gay Youth Organization is co-operates with other youth organizations and is assisted by dozens of volunteers of various professional backgrounds, such as education, social work, youth counseling, etc.

Various activities include support groups (led by social workers), social groups, young leadership groups, soldiers groups, annual events such as military service preparation seminars, STD’s/HIV/AIDS awareness, family and community related seminars, parties, ceremonies and youth camps. .

"Gay Youth in Israel

Only limited research was done on gay teens in Israel. Their only means of support is informal social groups, located in main cities, such as Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

During the past years we came to the conclusion that there is an urgent need to extend the variety of services that could be offered to these adolescents, as well as to establish youth groups outside the main cities. The Israeli Gay Youth Organization was established in 2002 to fulfill these needs, serving as the only professional body, which investigates and supplies the special needs of these youths.

The target population of the Israeli Gay Youth Organization is junior high and high school students, who define themselves as gay, Lesbian, Transsexual or Bisexual. Soldiers and youth aged 18-23 are included and form the organization senior group.

The Israeli Gay Youth Organization supports youth through the difficult stages of defining their sexual orientation, which is often confusing and painful. During this period, teenagers become aware of their sexual feelings. As the first homosexual experiences rise, whether in thought or in action, the young gay people start to think they are not normal, they are afraid to expose their gay orientation and avoid "regular" social activities, in order to prevent their peers from finding out.

In addition, the Israeli Gay Youth Organization provides a nourishing environment, in which the gay youth can get involved, in order to promote and improve their social position in Israel.

Goals and Objectives

Gensiorek found (1988) that homosexual / lesbian support groups can be of great value to the youth. These groups provide the place and the opportunity for homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals to acquire social skills and to apply them. More over, the young person can investigate his/hers own sexual orientation, exchange information, establish friendships and give and get support from their peers.

These groups reduce the emotional and social isolation; help the members to recognize their value, and encourage them to take responsibility for their own decisions.

The solutions offered to the youth by the Gay Youth Organization are as follows:

Support groups: focus on youth with confused sexual orientation. In these groups one can find other teenagers that are dealing with the same issues in their lives. These groups are mediated by professional instructors (such as social workers).

Social groups: targets youth who wish to meet and mingle for social activities such as discussing relevant issues regarding community and society.

Theme groups: addresses specific subjects and activities such as gay soldiers, religious youth and theater group.

Therapy: when in need, individuals receive professional help (consulting, support sessions, long term and short term therapy) free of charge.

National social activities: seminars, workshops etc.

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