EDUCATION & CHANGE
For the past 18 years, Hoshen has been advancing tolerance and understanding toward the LGBTQI community all over Israel. Hoshen, The winner of the presidential prize of 2021 for its work in volunteering as one of the biggest active organizations in Israel, operates daily in various places and different communities, promoting acceptance of the LGBTQI community. In a deep process, Hoshen is eradicating homophobia and creating a social change in Israel.
The central activity of Hoshen is the running of workshops and talks, in various forums in Israel:
The education system, to students from grade 7 through to 12 and to educators from early learning until high school.
The health system, to various health professionals.
The defence system, to military and police members
And many more…
The aim of the workshops is to allow a personal understanding of the LGBTQI community, and to receive practical tools in order to create a safe and understanding space for LGBTQI members.
The main method of Hoshen to promote the familiarity and understanding of the LGBTQI community is called “The Personal Story Workshop”.
In this workshop, members of the organization share with the crowd their own journeys regarding their sexual and gender identity, their struggles with them and their path to acceptance and happiness. This atmosphere creates an amazing opportunity for the audience to bring their opinion and have an open, honest discussion.
The workshop contains other elements that are used depending on the age and needs of the audience. The workshops for educators, for example, include a talk about different sexual and gender identities and give professional tools to create a safe educational space for LGBTQI youth and their families. The workshops aimed at military professionals also include a discussion about how the army relates to the LGBTQI community and its members who are in the army today, etc.
Hoshen was established in the year 2004, with the goal of advancing tolerance towards the subjects of sexual orientation and gender identity, eradicating homophobia in Israeli society and training professionals to work with the LGBTQI community. Hoshen started as a part of The Aguda – Israel's LGBT Task Force, but as it continued to develop, it became an independent organization.
Today, Hoshen is a nationwide organization, with over 250 activists. In 2016 Hoshen received the Knesset award and in 2021 the presidential award for volunteering. Hoshen works very closely with various government departments, and specifically with the “Counseling Psychological Service” under the education oddice, which has been supporting Hoshen’s vision since 2017.
Hoshen works in collaboration with many different organizations of the LGBTQI community like, Aguda – Israel's LGBT Task Force, Project Gila, Ma’varim, Jerusalem Open House, The Pride House in Beersheba, The Community House in Haifa, The Union of LGBT Students, Beit Dror and many more.
Every year Hoshen holds around 2000 workshops in 350 different institutions around Israel. Through this, Hoshen manages to reach around 50,000 men and women all over Israel.
Foundations of the organisation:
Respect to all - Every individual has the right to feel respected! We strive to promote a society free of violence and harm to the dignity of every individual.
Equality - Hoshen advocates equality for all human beings, with an emphasis on gender equality, and denies any discrimination based on affiliation, characteristics and / or personal identity. Aware of the power dynamics between different groups in society as well as between groups in the LGBTQI community, Hoshen believes in advancing equality in light of feminist principles within and outside the organization.
Diversity - At Hoshen, we believe in inclusion and social acceptance, which will allow every individual a free choice of lifestyle to create a diverse and tolerant society. We strive to create a diverse space where many opinions and identities can exist, be expressed and receive inclusive and respectful treatment. We believe. As a society we must allow everyone freedom of self-realization in any way that does not infringe on the free choice of the other.
Pride - The LGBTQI identity is a source of pride and deserves to be shown. Hoshen strives to show the personal stories of it’s activists and present them so as to promote social change in the LGBTQI community
Education- Education is a significant element in guiding and shaping the personality, perceptions and behaviors of every individual in society. That is why we promote dialogue around existing perceptions regarding sex, sexuality and gender, in order to encourage critical thinking and the choosing of a stance and values in an appropriate manner. Through direct discussion around a personal story and access to information, it is possible to reduce and eradicate LGBTphobia from the society in which we live and allow for sexulaity and gender freedom for all.