Last month, 60 Dror educators spent five days in a training course where they learned about the LGBT community and gained educational tools to work with LGBT teens, to make all our educational activities more welcoming to LGBT students, and to work towards a more tolerant and inclusive Israeli society.
The training included guest speakers and activists from the LGBT community, including an organization representing LGBT Ethiopian Israelis, who shared about the unique struggles of their community. The Dror educators learned about the history of the LGBT struggle for equal rights in Israel and understood their role as educators in fighting for equality for all groups. The training also featured a lecture from Amalia Ziv, the renowned professor of Gender Studies at Ben Gurion University, about historical developments in Israel’s LGBT community.
One of the organizers, Etay said, “a few years ago when I was a participant, the training helped me to find the connection between my LGBT identity and my role as an educator in Dror. It gave me the tools and motivation to fight homophobia through education. I am glad to be able to guide other educators through this process as well.”
While Israeli society has gone through significant changes in its approach to LGBT people over the past decades, Israeli LGBT youth and teens today still face homophobia and bullying. In schools they deal with verbal and physical bullying and often times deal with teachers and administrators who don’t adequately know how to support them.
Various interactive learning spaces invite educators to delve deeper into topics.
Over the last decade, Dror has dealt increasingly with LGBT issues and prides itself on creating a safe space for all participants in its programs – which include a network of 8 high schools and one of the nation’s largest youth movements - as well as leading the way in the national struggle for equal rights.
Dror educators also run workshops in dozens of schools throughout the country giving students and teachers tools to discuss issues of gender and sexuality as well as to create safer spaces in their schools, which have led to tangible impact on the experiences of students.