Ma’avarim - Israeli Trans Community
Ma'avarim is a trans-led NGO serving as the central hub of knowledge for and about trans and gender diverse people in Israel. We focus on community knowledge as the means to advance a trans-inclusive society. Our work takes two routes: first, we disseminate information on access to rights and resources within the trans community; second, we educate policy makers, service providers and employers to reduce bias and foster progressive change.
Israel is at the bottom of OECD countries in regards to trans rights: gender identity is not a protected category in laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, services and public places; and legal gender recognition requires the approval of a medical committee. Systemic discrimination and exclusion shape every aspect of trans lives: A third of trans Israelis are unemployed, 71% of trans youth are harassed or bullied in school, 70% of trans people experience verbal abuse regularly, and 45% avoid seeking medical treatments because they fear transphobia.
To address the particular challenges of trans and gender diverse communities in Israel, we developed a holistic program integrating community empowerment with in-person and digitized diversity training [for healthcare providers, educators and employers], and enhanced research and knowledge sharing capacities. The national program for the trans community had been recognized and supported by the Ministry of social equality and it started operating in 2023.
Trans Knowledge Center - Disseminating credible, accurate and up-to-date information to and about trans people on our website and in workshops, diversity training and consultation, covering “know your rights”, evidence-based policies, professional guidelines and best practices. To date, over 4,000 employers & service providers from the healthcare, welfare, and education sectors participated in our diversity training.
Trans Rights & Empowerment Center - Providing professional assistance by social workers and a mentor. The team manages over 2,000 cases a year. The Ministry of Welfare supervises and funds its core. During the COVID-19 crisis, we provided emergency grants to affected individuals. Maavarim’s Academic Scholarships support trans students from low income backgrounds.
Policy Advocacy - Developing policies to improve trans healthcare, welfare provisions, inclusion in education settings, equitable resource allocation and the criminal justice system, and encouraging their adoption and implementation through lobbying and civil society partnerships. Our advocacy program receives core funding from the European Union.
Annual Trans Conference - occurring in Tel Aviv, with over 500 participants. Providing the trans community and service providers with reliable and updated information critical for trans well being. For conference sponsorship please contact us.
In its 10 years of existence, Ma’avarim has grown from a small grass-roots trans organization to a thriving establishment with a wide reach. Ma’avarim has been awarded the Israeli Seal of Effectiveness (Tav Midot), for its impact, and donation is tax exempt.