LGBTQ – The ORIGINAL “Rainbow” Trip
“Can’t reiterate enough how lucky we all felt to have our soldiers with us for all 10 days”
– Josh S
“This trip has really made a giant impact in my life and I will never forget it!”
– Natalie R
“The experience is so intense that if you even stop to think you’ll miss something extraordinary”
– Jamie F
“It was an amazing 10 days, full of self-reflection and memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.”
– Beth S
“I made new friends, celebrated Shabbat at the Western Wall, lost a game of chess to an Israeli intelligence officer, and survived three scorching summer days in the desert.”
– Aaron T
“I have nothing but good things to say about my staff members and tour guide as well.”
– Blake H
“It really opened my eyes in so many different ways”
– David P
LGBTQ – The ORIGINAL “Rainbow” Trip
Have the gay experience with the Israel Experience!
Are you LGBTQ identified? Come to Israel with the ORIGINAL LGBTQ “Rainbow” trip. The Israel Experience has been successfully running the LGBTQ trip since 2008. You’ll have the most amazing life changing experience!
See our most recent group enjoying the beach in Tel Aviv with a bit of music!
One of Israel’s most precious resources is its diversity – in geography, in land, in population and in cultures: It has something for everyone!
If you’re looking for your way to see Israel, along with others from the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer community, we’re happy to show you around. See Israel through a LGBTQ lens, travel with LGBTQ identified Israeli peers, and explore the classic site and attractions. Additionally, visit the Jerusalem Open House to meet with the gay community of Jerusalem and hear of their struggle for acceptance in their city, as individuals and as a community as a whole; visit the Gay Center in Tel Aviv; mingle in LGBTQ clubs; and meet top LGBTQ identified Israeli performing artists and/or filmmakers.
Here’s what some of our past “Rainbow” trip participants had to say about their experience.
From Sarah F: I wanted to take the time to thank Israel Experience for my birthright trip. It was an amazing opportunity to see Israel firsthand. The trip was so amazing, I believe, because I was fortunate enough to participate on an LGBT themed trip. For many years, I have been unsure how to fuse my Jewish and LGBT identities. In fact, I wasn’t sure that Judaism had a place in my life at all. Before even arriving in Israel, I felt immediately comfortable with my peers upon our first meeting at JFK. None of us had to worry that we would be judged based on our sexual orientations or gender identities and therefore we were able to focus on the purpose of the trip immediately. We were able to discover how and why Judaism and Israel were important to us, privately and as a group.
I also found that I was able to connect on a deeply personal level because of the safe environment that had been created from day one. I never thought that I would make lifelong friends in just a ten day period, but I did. Having LGBT Israeli’s on the trip was even more significant because I was able to truly understand what it would be like to grow up gay in Israel. In many ways, it didn’t seem that different than my experience. Learning that Israel can be a very friendly place for LGBT people inspired me to want to learn more about Israel.
From Daniel D: One thing that I am particularly grateful for is the opportunity to attend a gay trip. I believe it is essential that such a trip continue to be offered. Thanks to the Rainbow Trip, I was able to feel comfortable and safe because I knew the other trip participants were like me and would not judge me. More importantly, the trip’s LGBT themed programming gave me a taste of what gay life is like in Israel. Though I had never been to Israel, I had considered making aliyah in the past. After going on Birthright, that consideration is at the forefront of my mind. Thanks to the Rainbow Trip, I know that I can live as a gay man in Israel. I have contacts and resources to turn to as a result of this Birthright experience. Meeting gay Israeli soldiers and participating in programs at LGBT Centers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was a truly unique and eye-opening experience. In fact, I would recommend that all Birthright trips visit the LGBT Center in Tel Aviv and hear about the wonderful programming that is developed there.
From Allie L: I was really hesitant about going on an LGBT trip and almost changed my mind at the last minute-but I am so thankful that I didn’t, because the Rainbow Trip absolutely changed my life. Spending 10 days in Israel with a Queer group was a transformative experience and I feel so lucky to have been chosen as a participant. I seriously cannot put into words how phenomenal the trip was and how important it was for me as a Jewish lesbian. I have been involved in Jewish groups throughout my entire life and have always socialized in Jewish groups of friends…in college, I was even the President of a Jewish sorority…but because I am gay, I have never felt like I fit in amongst any of these groups. On the Rainbow Trip I was able to feel, for the first time in my life, that I totally belonged to something as a whole individual and not as just a person who is Jewish or, separately, as a person who is queer. This trip afforded me the ability to be comfortable being myself in an entirely new way. I truly think that it has the ability to change participants’ lives.