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Pure Site: Pink News From Jerusalem

About seven months ago Hebrew University (HU) began blocking access from its computer labs to certain websites. Using a piece of software symbolically called „PureSite,“ HU clamed that it was trying to block „pornography“. …Freedom of research in Jerusalem:
Jerusalem Open House (JOH) forces Hebrew U to stop blocking gay websitesRegardless of the intentions of this censorship, the result was that a wide array of sites were blocked, including sites with safe-sex information, sites dealing with breast cancer, gay info and research sites, the website of The Other 10% (HU’s own gay and lesbian student union!), and also the new JOH website.
Ever since discovering about this outrage, the JOH and The Other 10% engaged HU in an attempt to stop this censorship. Advocates Dori Spivak (from the legal assistance clinic at Tel Aviv University) and Danny Savitch (JOH legal advisor and Board Member) negotiated the situation, emphasizing how the censorship amounts to discrimination against HU’s LGBT student population. One step before pursuing the matter in the courts, Hebrew University backed down and has removed the blocking software from their computers.
PsycholoGAY: JOH initiates Israeli GLBT psychotherapists‘ forum

This February „PsycholoGAY,“ an organization of GLBT psychotherapists, was founded at a conference held at, and sponsored by, the Jerusalem Open House. This conference, the first of its kind ever to be held in Israel, was organized by JOH Chairperson Jerry Levinson and Nirit Bar, a clinical psychologist from Kibbutz Gevulot, with the aid of members of the JOH Psychosocial Unit and other colleagues. The idea for holding such a conference was sparked by homophobic remarks made by prominent lecturers at a recent conference of the Israeli Association of Family Therapists.

At the founding convention of „PsycholoGAY,“ ways were discussed of combating the homophobia and ignorance which still plague many psychotherapists in Israel, and a permanent forum for peer supervision of GLBT psychotherapists was recommended. Twenty-nine of the fifty-seven participants volunteered to join a planning committee which will continue to develop this initiative. The JOH’s initiative gained national media coverage, and we hope that it will become a driving force for long-overdue changes in the field of therapy in Israel.

Jerusalem’s Rainbow Shop
In January we celebrated the grand opening of the Jerusalem Rainbow Shop, located in the Open House. Magazines, books, posters and all the rainbow trinkets you can imagine, are now available for sale at the Rainbow Shop. The shop is open twice a week, Sunday and Thursday evenings, during our weekly open evenings.
Jerusalem’s Gay Community Center and Kehilat Kol HaNeshama welcome the Auschwitz Komittee from Germany and host a special screening of „Paragraph 175“

Jews and Homosexuals shared the horrors of oppression under the Third Reich. Just as the Nazi regime passed laws to validate the oppression of Jews, they legislated a Paragraph 175, which codified ’natural‘ and ‚unnatural‘ sexual behavior, and thus legalized the abuse of homosexuals.
Filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman documented the experience of German Homosexuals during the Nazi period in their mainstream movie entitled Paragraph 175. Epstein and Friedman are well known for their documentary The Celluloid Closet, a history of homosexuality in the film industry.
The movie will be screened on Monday, March 5th, at 19:30 at Kol HaNeshama Synagogue, Rehov Asher 1 in Bak’a. It is brought to Jerusalem and presented by the Auschwitz Komittee in Germany, which is visiting Israel. The Auschwitz Komittee is a group of Germans-Jews and non-Jews, gay and straight, multigenerational from age 22 to 90 (!)-who organize events to raise German consciousness concerning the Holocaust and combat anti-Semitism. One member of the group, Moritz Terfloth, a gay historian from Hamburg, was a consultant for the film.

Jerusalem’s gay, lesbian, bi and trans community center, the Open House, co-sponsors the event together with Kehilat Kol HaNeshama in recognition of the courageous work of the Auschwitz Komittee. The movie will follow a reception in honor of the visiting group; after the screening, there will be an opportunity for discussion and questions.

For further details please contact:
Barbara Becker (the event’s organizer, at the JOH): 02-6253191
Hagai El-Ad (JOH Executive Director): 054-898464 / hagai@joh.gay.org.il

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