+972 2 588 2600
Hebrew University

LGBTQ Resources

Welcome! We’re happy that you are studying with us at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School (RIS). In this section, we’ll provide you with useful information about being LGBTQ+ in Jerusalem and Israel. We’re here to help you have a positive and fulfilling study abroad experience while being true to yourself and staying safe.

On-Campus Support

Your LGBTQ+ Representative

RIS is committed to providing all students with a positive, safe experience in Jerusalem, and this includes our LGBTQ+ students. Ira Kirschner, our LGBTQ+ representative, will be happy to speak to you – whether it’s to answer questions, solve problems, or provide you with additional information about being LGBTQ+ in Jerusalem and Israel!

Orientation

There will be a special orientation for LGBTQ+ students and allies. It takes place during the first week of each semester and will provide you with important and helpful information.

Rooming Requests

Please get in touch with us about your rooming preferences. We will represent your rooming needs to the RIS dormitory coordinator.

Gender-Neutral Bathroom & General Accessibility

There is a gender-neutral bathroom on the fourth floor of the Boyar Building, opposite Room 403. If you have any other accessibility issues that need to be addressed, please contact us. 

Queer Resources at Hebrew University

Connect with your peers via the Jerusalem University LGBTQ+ Student Group here at Hebrew University!
Email
Facebook

Queer Israel

There are no laws in Israel prohibiting LGBTQ+ identity or behavior. Furthermore, the Israeli government awards pensions of deceased LGBTQ+ military officers to their surviving partners. Trendy Tel Aviv is recognized as the best place to be LGBTQ+ in the Middle East and is even rated among the best cities to be gay worldwide. A wide range of bars, cafes, and clubs in Tel Aviv offer a constantly changing calendar of theme nights and parties.

Many cities in Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, host gay pride parades. However, Jerusalem is more conservative than Tel Aviv. The parades in Jerusalem have been more controversial, but they do have the support of leading Muslim, Christian, and Jewish liberal religious authorities. It’s important to keep in mind that different areas within Jerusalem may have different levels of acceptance of people identifying as LGBTQ+. We’ve created a list of tips below to help you get a general picture. As with any other issue, if you’re unsure of something, please check with a madrich.

Tips for Staying Safe & Having Fun

  • Tel Aviv is very welcoming to LGBTQ+ populations. Have fun, but follow the usual precautions for safety in an international environment.
  • Eilat is also relatively progressive and welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Haifa is moderately welcoming. More discretion is advised here.
  • LGTBQ behavior is forbidden in Palestinian/Arab communities, including East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Jordan, and Egypt. We advise extreme caution and maintaining a low profile in these areas.
  • We advise similar discretion in the Jewish ultra-Orthodox and Hassidic neighborhoods of Jerusalem north of Jaffa Road (such as Mea Shearim), in the Old City of Jerusalem, in Safed, and in small, less-touristy Israeli towns where the character of the population may not be clear.
  • Jerusalem is a more traditional city, but there are small but vibrant LGBTQ+ communities. While some people may react strangely, it is becoming more and more common to see same-sex couples and LGBTQ+ culture.

Resources in Jerusalem

Video Pub
Jerusalem’s only gay bar – for now…
Website
Facebook

Queer-Friendly Synagogues

Most synagogues in Jerusalem are modern Orthodox, and none will ask you at the door about your sexual identity! We highly recommend experiencing different types of prayer around Jerusalem. Here are a few that are often frequented by LGBTQ+ Jerusalemites:

Sod Siach
Email

Website
Facebook

Ramban
Email

Website
Facebook

Shira Hadasha
Email
Website
Facebook

Jerusalem Open House
This is a very active community.
Email
Website
Facebook
English-Speakers’ Group Facebook

Jerusalem Open Clinic
Email
Website

Havruta
Havruta is a social group for Jewish-observant homosexuals, but all are welcome at their events!
Email
Website
Facebook

Bat Kol
Bat Kol is a social group for Jewish-observant lesbians, but all are welcome at their events!
Email
Website
Facebook

Resources in Tel Aviv

Association for GLBT in Israel
Email
Tel.:
+972 3 620 5590

Community of Feminist Lesbians in Israel (CLAF)
Tel.:
 +972 (54) 531 9855

Political Council for GLBT Rights in Israel
Tel.:
+972 3 613 2418

Tel Aviv Open House
Email
Website
Facebook
English-Speakers’ Group Facebook

Support & Crisis Hotlines

White Line
For emotional counseling
Tel.: +972 3 732 5560
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. daily

Someone Listens
Info and counseling line for the Association for GLBT
Tel.: +972 3 516 7236

Gay-Friendly Psychologists and Therapists
Tel.:
+972 2 516 7235

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you!

Ira Kirschner
LGBTQ+ Representative
Director, Office of Student Life
Rothberg International School
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Boyar Building, Room 403
Email
Tel.: +972 2 588 2606

Need Help Getting Started?

Take a look at our pages for prospects, students, faculty and staff, alumni, and parents – or contact us!