Iconic comedienne and Jewish US television personality Joan Rivers recently took a break from dishing out scathing fashion advice to lend her support to an Israeli gay couple struggling to have a child via surrogacy.
The gay icon joined a whole host of Israeli celebrities who responded to a YouTube video that went viral in Israel, depicting the emotional story of Yuval and Liran, an Israeli couple who were trying receive donations and raise awareness about surrogacy for the LGBT community in Israel.
During the video clip, Yuval and Liran hold up signs explaining how laws in Israel discriminate against gay couples by only allowing infertile heterosexual couples to hire surrogates and stipulating that surrogates must be single. As such, gay couples are forced to take their surrogate searches abroad and undertake proceedings that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Rivers, along with her Fashion Police co-stars Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, followed in the footsteps of the Israeli celebrities and released photographs of themselves holding up signs in both Hebrew and English translation, which read “We want them to have a baby too.” Some of the Israeli celebrities who provided their support for the cause included singers Eyal Golan, Harel Skaat, Dudu Aharon and Ninet Tayeb, journalist and TV personality Gal Uchovsky as well as entrepreneur Pnina Rozenblum.
The initiative for Rivers to get involved came about after A Wider Bridge – a group that seeks to inspire LGBT Jews to deepen their Jewish identity through a connection with Israel – contacted Fashion Police head writer and Rivers’ close friend, Toni Tripoli.
“We’re so touched by the story, and the cast would be happy to do it,” Tripoli replied almost immediately, according to A Wider Bridge.
“Since we first heard about the story of Yuval and Liran, A Wider Bridge has been trying to help in various ways, including increasing awareness about the problems of surrogacy for gay people in Israel,” read a personal message sent to the Israeli media by Arthur Slepian, CEO and founder of A Wider Bridge. “We’ve also been asking Jewish LGBT Americans to donate money for Yuval and Liran’s dream and cause.”
“When we saw the wonderful involvement of Israeli celebrities and thought about taking the subject a notch higher here in the US, Joan Rivers was one of the first names on our minds, because she has always been outspoken about her support for gay people and her love for Israel,” Slepian said.
“On Thursday she proved to us that she’s not only talking, she’s also doing.”