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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Israel Series at HebrewPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Israeli holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 23, Pride parade
The Gay Pride Parade - מצעד הגאווה (mitza’ad ha’gaava) in Tel Aviv is the largest gay pride parade in the State of Israel and the entire Asian continent. It is held at the beginning of the summer - קיץ (kayitz), and over 100,000 people participate every year.
Let’s learn about this colorful carnival that spreads happiness, love, and the message of equality.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Which event, occurring in 1998, profoundly affected the decision to run the first parade?
If you don't already know, keep listening! The answer will be revealed at the end of this lesson!
Every year in Israel, every major city holds a gay pride parade, but the largest of them all is in Tel Aviv, which became the gay capital of Israel long ago. Tel Aviv is a site that attracts the gay community - הקהילה הגאה (hakehila ha’ge’a) thanks to its pluralism, its youthful environment, its nightlife, and the extensive social activities that occur there. It’s home to many gay community organizations, which conduct activities for the public and engage in legal and social struggles on behalf of the community.
In 1998, the first gay pride parade took place in Tel Aviv, and since then, it has become one of the city’s symbols. The parade symbolizes the city’s pluralistic spirit, and it attracts hundreds of thousands of participants from Israel and other countries. The parade celebrates the beauty of human diversity, while it is also used to demonstrate against oppression and violence - אלימות (alimut) targeting gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals, and those with non-heterosexual sexual or gender identities - זהות (ze’hut).
Currently, the parade is held permanently, every year, as part of Tel Aviv’s gay pride week events. Over 100,000 people take part in the parade, and of those, tens of thousands are tourists - תיירים (taiarim) who come to Israel specifically to take part in the parade. It begins with speeches delivered on the plaza of the “Gay Community Center”. Next, festival goers walk down to Tel Aviv beach - חוף הים (chof hayam), where the parade ends with a party - מסיבה (mesiba) featuring concerts with leading musicians, the awarding of the annual Tolerance Award - פרס הסובלנות Pras hasovlanut, and shows for children.
In 2011, official representatives of religious gay organizations, including “Chavruta” and “Bat Kol”, participated in the parade for the first time.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Which event had a crucial impact on the existence of the first gay pride parade?
In 1998, Dana International, an Israeli transgender woman, won the Eurovision Song Contest, representing Israel. Her victory led to extensive press coverage of the gay community, and increased the public awareness of the community’s struggle for equality- המאבק לשוויון (ma’avak le’shivion). The supportive public atmosphere played a critical role in running the first gay pride parade.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting? Is there a gay pride parade in your city?
Leave a comment letting us know at HebrewPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson!