A brief history of the
World Congress of
Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Jewish Organizations
The first gay and lesbian Jewish organisations in the world were formed in
London and Los Angeles in 1972 and New York in early 1973. By 1975, lesbian
and gay Jewish organisations were also active in San Francisco, Boston,
Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Miami.
When the United Nations voted in 1975 to declare that 'Zionism equals racism',
many gay and lesbian Jews felt that there should be a gay and lesbian response.
A meeting was called in New York and it became a loose network of organisations.
In 1976, the first formal international meeting of gay and lesbian Jewish
organisations was held in Washington, DC with representatives from Washington,
DC, Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Montreal,
Toronto, and Tel Aviv to discuss common concerns and set in motion a way
for gay and lesbian Jews to work together.
In 1977, New York hosted the Second International Conference of Gay and Lesbian
Jews with over 200 people attending. Subsequent conferences were held in
Los Angeles in 1978 and Israel in 1979.
In 1980 in San Francisco, the World Congress was officially born with a
Management Committee elected to run its affairs and the creation of By-Laws.
Subsequent conferences were held in Philadelphia (1981), Los Angeles (1982),
and Miami (1983). In 1983, the current structure of the World Congress, with
officers and an Executive Director was voted into place. Also put in place
in 1983, was a resolution to hold International Conferences every other year
in the odd years and Regional Conferences in the even years. Since then,
conferences have been held in Washington, DC (1985), Amsterdam (1987), Chicago
(1989), San Francisco (1991), London (1993), New York City (1995), and Dallas
The 13th World Conference of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews
is scheduled for July 2000, in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Updated 18 November 1999.
World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Jewish