“Washingtonians are attuned to social impact issues, and we wanted to be able to touch on that,” says Naomi Rosenblatt, senior planning associate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. “We would really love to help people connect to Israel through a lens of social change.”
That newly launched speaking series, “Meet the Change Makers,” is part of the Federation’s larger “Imagine Israel” program, which features high-profile Israelis involved in promoting social change. The organization hopes their guests will give Washingtonians a view of Israeli society they can relate to.
Its debut guest is LGBT activist and film producer Gal Uchovsky, partner of director Eytan Fox. Uchovsky will discuss his personal coming out story, his role as a media figure within Israel, diversity and intersectionality within Israel’s LGBT community, and his work with Israel Gay Youth, a non-profit LGBT youth organization he helped found.
“Gal has been a prominent face in the LGBT community in Israel for a very long time,” says Rosenblatt. “He has been active, not only in bringing LGBT issues to the forefront through his films, but also as a journalist and, as someone who’s appeared on various TV shows, an active, vocal voice for creating an environment where people can be comfortable coming out.
“We thought he would be exciting for people here because, beyond LGBT issues, he’s a force in Israeli culture,” she says, pointing to his stint as a judge on the Israeli version of Pop Idol. “We thought he’d be a great cultural touchstone.”
Imagine Israel: Meet the Change Makers with Gal Uchovsky is Thursday, Nov. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P St. NW. Program starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. Event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is recommended. Visit shalomdc.org/changemakers.
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