New York, NY, January 19, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the National LGBTQ Task Force’s reversal of its decision to cancel a Shabbat reception at their upcoming annual “Creating Change” conference. The reception was organized by an American LGBTQ group, featuring Jerusalem Open House, an LGBTQ community organization in Israel. ADL had reached out to the Task Force urging them to reverse the initial decision which was “deeply misguided” and “unworthy of an organization committed to justice and equality.”
ADL has been a long-time partner in the Task Force’s efforts to advance full freedom, justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people.
The now re-approved reception following Friday night Shabbat services will be hosted by A Wider Bridge, an organization that supports a constructive relationship with Israel and LGBTQ Israelis, and will feature guests from the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, who will discuss their work as a local community center that transcends political, ethnic and religious boundaries to build and unite a community in pursuit of the common goal of tolerance and mutual support.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
We are very pleased that the Task Force has reversed course and taken responsibility for their deeply misguided decision to cancel this reception. We were surprised and disappointed with the initial choice to cancel an event that had been designed to celebrate and embrace ties with Israel’s diverse LGBTQ community. That initial decision was unworthy of an organization committed to justice and equality.
Creating Change has traditionally been a space for vigorous debate and for LGBT community leaders from the U.S. and around the world. The initial decision to cancel an event highlighting the work of an organization that serves the entire Israeli LGBTQ community, Jews and Arabs alike, was an indefensible exception to that practice.
Executive Director Rea Carey’s meaningful and heartfelt apology appropriately recognizes the harmful impact the decision to cancel the event had on the community.
We strongly commend the Task Force’s leadership for engaging in a process that allowed them to reverse their decision. It reflects their commitment to the broad and diverse community they serve – and is a reminder of what makes the Task Force an indispensable partner in the pursuit of justice.