Tag Archives: Transgender Jewish

Dana International of Israel helps out Eurovision

Thirteen years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with Diva in 1998 Dana International was back again representing Israel with her self composed entry Ding Dong as she attempted to win the title again. Dana’s victory in the 1998 contest had a strong impression on the world, and she became a cultural icon. In Israel (which has participated in Eurovision almost every year since 1973), on the night of the 1998 victory, thousands of people celebrated on the streets, and Dana has been a star ever since.

When I travel or speak with Israeli people and describe what I do for a living her name will come up within three minutes. It is like clock-work. I say something about Trans rights in English. The person I am speaking with asks what that means. Someone who is also Israeli and standing near us or involved in the conversation interjects and simply says, “Dana, you know Dana International.”   Dana International has become synonymous with not only the rights of Trans people but the full LGBT spectrum of identities. It is amazing.

Although she was sadly voted out of Eurovison Thursday night the history of this extraordinary woman has helped change the understanding of LGBT civil rights not only in Israel but also across the globe. Take a look at this BBC video talking about her impact on our world:

Dana International of Israel performs her song 'Ding Dong' during a rehearsal for the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf May 11, 2011. Photograph by: Ina Fassbender, REUTERS

Dana International of Israel performs her song 'Ding Dong' during a rehearsal for the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf May 11, 2011. Photograph by: Ina Fassbender, REUTERS

I hope that you will be able to join me at our Federations’ LGBT Alliance booth celebrating Dana International and her contributions to our global community at Israel in the Gardens this June 5 in San Francisco.

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Israel


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honoring a star


We get a lot of interesting questions as LGBT identified Jewish leaders. One of the most common questions is how did the San Francisco Bay Area become one of the leading communities for LGBT inclusion? We have long answers and short answers but they both involve one key Gay Jewish leader: Al Baum.

Al is a tireless fighter for LGBT civil rights and a lifetime leader in both Jewish and civic communities. Out of love, respect and appreciation for all that he has accomplished, he is being awarded The Rita Semel Jewish-Civic Leadership Award for his extraordinary contributions by our partner, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). We hope that you can join us at the JCRC Gala on February 16 honoring so many of Al’s accomplishments in our community.

While our community is filled to the brim with opportunities to see Bay Area LGBT Jewish leaders in action. From speaking on panels with Israeli LGBT Teens and making philanthropic calls to celebrating their wordssocial satireactivismmusic, and scholarship, it is still rare when we as a community can gather all together to honor one of our brightest shining stars.

See you OUT in the community,

Arthur Slepian, Chair

Lisa Finkelstein, Director

P.S. If you would like to help honor Al but are unable to attend, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to pass on your wishes to Al. Here is a link to provide an honor or memorial gift to the Federation.

Al Baum with friends out in the San Francisco Jewish community.

Upcoming Events

Queer Jewish Religiosity in America - Registration Queer Jewish Religiosity in America
Stanford University/Sha’ar Zahav
Feb 25 – Feb 27

Engage in conversations about queer Judaism, its creativeness with collective Jewish textual forms, and what happens to both in the process…or just meet a few new LGBT identified friends at the oneg.
Be a part of Federation's annual fund-raising day.
Mar 13 10:00am – 7:00pm
From dial to push button and now cell phones, over the years our tools have changed, but our values remain the same.
See Bay Area LGBT leader Sasha T. Goldberg on the panel at the 4th Annual Inside the Activists Studio!
Feb 27 10:30am –  4:30pm
Get energized by local Jewish change-makers and celebrate the multitude of ways we are working to create a more just world!
This is an incredible celebration of amazing art work. Don't miss it! Celebration of The Robert Giard Art Exhibition
Feb 09 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Particular Voices: Portraits of Jewish Gay and Lesbian Writers featuring poets Teya Schafferm & Elana Dykewomon.
Barbara Coloroso talks about the end of bullying Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right
Feb 09 7:00pm – 9:00pm

From toddlers to teens, teaching children to think and act ethically with author expert Barbara Coloroso.

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