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US Federations finance most of J'lem Gay center

Jerusalem's Gay and Lesbian Center receives about $200,000 annualy from Jewish Federations in US.

June 21, 2007 00:21
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Jerusalem's Gay and Lesbian Center, which is organizing Thursday's controversial gay parade through the streets of the city, receives about $200,000 a year from the Jewish Federations in the United States, the head of the group said Wednesday. The organization, which opened its offices in the city in 1997, is primarily funded by donors in the United States and receives 5 percent of its budget from the Jerusalem Municipality, executive director Noa Sattath said. The organization's budget last year was $600,000, with donations divided almost equally among various foundations in the US, American Jewish Federations and private donors, she said. Two years ago, a Jerusalem court ordered the Jerusalem Municipality to pay the organization NIS 350,000 over a three-year period, after a protracted legal battle between the group and the city dating back to the tenure of former Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert, Sattath said. The Jerusalem parade will cost NIS 500,000, she said. "Our greatest challenge is a tradition of conformist heterosexism that continues to be enforced by almost all social institutions in Israel, including the family, the school, the state and the religious establishment," the organization says on its Web site. "This challenge is especially formidable in Jerusalem, a city of traditional values and deeply rooted religious commitments." A United Jewish Appeal spokeswoman declined to comment.

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