From personal experience we know that vacationing is complex: cultural experiences, gorgeous men, sunny and serene beaches, a thriving night-life. Most importantly, travelling means comfort, pampering, and someone caring for your every need so you can soak up the sounds, sites, and smells of your destination. Fabulous Israel offers this unique service for the gay traveler who wishes to have only the most boutique and sophisticated stay. As native Israelis, our intimate knowledge of the gay community and Israel’s most distinctive cultural and historical sites makes us perfectly suited to place you in the center of the action. Whether you are looking for the trendiest places to eat, the most culturally authentic spots, or to learn more about the history of this unique country, we can provide it all in the most convenient and fun atmosphere. Our group packages offer unparalleled opportunities to develop friendships and international networks, while our tailor-made individual packages create the perfect getaway for you, your friends, and your family. With years of hosting and planning events, we know just what you’ll want to make your trip unforgettable!
Voted Out Magazine’s “Gay Capital of the Middle East,” Tel Aviv’s compelling vibes have been a draw for the international gay community for years. With its year-long sunny weather, gorgeous beaches, and even more beautiful men, it is home to one of the most outrageous gay pride events in the world. Coupled with a thriving nightlife, café culture and trendsetting fashion, Tel Aviv is truly a fabulous city. Only an hour away, nestled in the stunning Judean hills, lies one of history’s most important cities, Jerusalem. This multi-faceted city is a melting pot of religions, cultures, aromas, fashions and tastes. One can visit the open-air market and taste fresh hummus and Druze breads to the sounds of merchants selling their wares, or walk down to the modern Mamilla mall and taste gourmet international cuisine in quaint cafes side-by-side high-end boutiques. Yet Israel doesn’t stop there! Travel to the lowest point on Earth, and the world’s most fabulous natural spa, the Dead Sea, or hike through a waterfall amongst the luscious forests of the North. A backbone of civilization since the beginning of time, anything you wish to experience has its place amongst the mosaic of Israeli society.
Fabulous Israel is a one-of-a-kind company which combines decades of experience and a deep understanding of Israel to meet your every need. Whether you’re coming as a group or for a tailor-made individual experience, we know how to give you everything you desire to ensure a truly perfect boutique vacation from the moment you land in Israel.
Michael Mayer has lived in Los Angeles for the past 17 years. He has spent many of those working in Hollywood, making trailers for movies and American television series. From time to time he produced a documentary or directed a short film, but the trailers were the focus of his life. They were his livelihood, but he also loved to make them.
About a decade ago a friend from back home in Israel came to see him, but Mayer never imagined the visit was going to change his life. The friend told him he volunteered with the Israeli National LGBT Task Force (aka Aguda), and explained that part of this organization’s activity is devoted to helping gay Palestinians. Many of them, he told Mayer, are forced to flee the Palestinian Authority and hide from their families and acquaintances, because they refuse to accept their sexual orientation. Sometimes, he added, their lives are in real danger.
Mayer listened, riveted. He learned that many gay men who have fled their homes in the territories find refuge in Tel Aviv; he understood that their delicate situation often makes them vulnerable to extortion, by Palestinians and Israelis alike. Moreover, he was surprised to hear that, not infrequently, they have no choice but to flee and obtain political asylum abroad.
“I was surprised to hear the things this friend told me and surprised about the extent of the problem. Suddenly I said to myself, ‘Hey, this is a story I want to tell,’” he recollects, during a recent interview in Tel Aviv.
Mayer realized this was his chance to do what he had always dreamed of: write and direct a full-length feature film by himself: “This topic suddenly came along and turned me on. For years I was entirely submerged in the trailers business … but it was always clear that if I got up and made a film, it would only be with a subject that speaks to me. When this idea came up, I felt it was the first time I’d connected with something in such a powerful manner. So, I decided to do it.”
The result, “Out in the Dark,” premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and won the best film prize in the official competition at the Haifa International Film Festival last fall, together with the highly acclaimed “Fill the Void” (Rama Burshtein’s debut feature).
Mayer’s film may not have won important international awards yet, but it has won the hearts of overseas distributors: So far it has been sold to 35 countries – an extraordinary achievement for a low-budget Israeli film by an unknown director – and the American cable network HBO bought the TV broadcast rights.
“Out in the Dark” (“Alata” in Hebrew) opened in local theaters last week. At its heart is a love story between an Israeli and a Palestinian, who try to prove to themselves and the world that love is stronger than any conflict or political reality, no matter how cruel.
Young Palestinian Nimr (Nicholas Jacob) is a psychology student who leads a double life. At home in Ramallah, with his family, nobody knows about his sexual orientation. At night he goes out to the big city beyond the fence, Tel Aviv, to enjoy the freedom and sexual adventures the city brings. When he meets Roy (Michael Aloni), a young Israeli lawyer, a love story develops that gives him hope for a better future. But things soon get complicated and, after being forced to come out of the closet, Nimr finds himself being persecuted, extorted and threatened in both worlds.
Photos: Courtesy of awiderbridge.org
They have published the story firsthand as written by Yuval Kaduri-Altman himself, then told you about the issue of legalizing surrogacy for gays taking central stage in Israel thanks to a YouTube video and a campaign by Yuval and Liran. They are trying to raise money to have their baby in the US parallel to their fight to legalize surrogacy for gays in Israel. We also told you about the A-list Israeli celebrities who joined the fight, photographing themselves with the sign that reads “We Want them to have a baby too”
Yesterday the subject returned to the daily discussion and the homepages of the major news outlets in Israel, with Joan Rivers and the stars of ‘Fashion Police,’ who photographed themselves with the sign, “We want them to have a baby too.”
The wonderful gesture of Joan Rivers and her gang came after a request A Wider Bridge sent to ‘Fashion Police’ head writer and Joan’s close friend, Toni Tripoli, with links to the stories on A Wider Bridge’s website. “We’re so touched by the story, and the cast would be happy to do it,” Tripoli replied almost immediately. The sign was delivered to the set and the pictures were taken during the shooting of the show on Thursday.
In a personal message that was sent to the Israeli media with the photos, Arthur Slepian, CEO and founder of A Wider Bridge commented:
“Since we first heard about the story of Yuval and Liran A Wider Bridge has been trying to help in various ways, including increasing awareness about the problems of surrogacy for gay people in Israel. We’ve also been asking Jewish LGBT Americans to donate money for Yuval and Liran’s dream and cause.
When we saw the wonderful involvement of Israeli celebrities and thought about taking the subject a notch higher here in the U.S., Joan Rivers was one of the first names on our minds, because she has always been outspoken about her support for gay people and her love for Israel. On Thursday she proved to us that she’s not only talking, she’s also doing.”
“The Jewish LGBT community in America is proud of how Israel has evolved and how much progress the country has made regarding LGBT social issues and gender equality. The state of Israel is one of the main stewards of the future of the Jewish People, and continued progress on LGBT equality in Israel is important for Jewish people everywhere.”
The song was crowned Most Played Tel Aviv Song over the past decade, and ended up becoming even a hit in China after Hong-Kong-based popstar Yumiko Cheng has recorded a cover version to the song.
Horowitz wrote a letter to the members of the Knesset, stating that the caucus would promote equal rights, open-mindedness, tolerance, and would stand against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Knesset’s “gay caucus” will promote bills, support organizations and improve public discourse in order to promote freedom and equality among Israelis.
The first film that Michael Lucas made about Israel was called “Men of Israel” and featured some of this country’s most beautiful male specimens in some of the most beautiful natural landscapes, enjoying each other’s, um, company. It was supposedly the first pornographic film shot on location in the Holy Land with an all-Israeli/Jewish cast and apparently became a hit for Lucas Entertainment, the gay adult film production company that Lucas founded.
Lucas’ interest in Israel isn’t just a filmmaker’s taste for the exotic “other” – it actually stems from his deep and passionate Zionism. The Russian-born Lucas, who is Jewish, has become known for his spicy brand of pro-Israel activism and efforts to beef up gay tourism here.
Among other things, he has written political opinion pieces detailing Israel’s impressive record on gay rights, organized gay tours of the country and recently – and very publicly – pressured the New York LGBT Community Center to cancel meetings and events held by anti-Israel groups.
His latest film, “Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land,” premiered this past weekend at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. That’s right, as in a totally legit Jewish film fest in the South.
Lucas’ most recent project is actually a, um, straight documentary about how great it is to be gay in Israel. It features interviews with community activists, gay celebs and politicians, including MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), the first openly gay MK elected to the Knesset.
To be clear, neither MK Horowitz, nor any of the film’s other participants, shed their clothes. Lucas, in an interview with the Huffington Post, called the title a “tongue-in-cheek recognition of my background in the adult industry.”
“I’ve been frustrated at how little people know about Israel,” he said in the interview. “[Israeli culture] is actually very progressive and tolerant. That’s especially true when it comes to gay rights, which are more advanced there than in the United States.”
Well, this is quite a welcome respite for the Israeli government, which hasn’t fared so well cinematically this year: Two other high-profile documentaries that earned Oscar nominations, “The Gatekeepers” and “5 Broken Cameras,” highlight the less photogenic side of Israel.
What a relief it must be to Bibi, et al., therefore, that a gay porn kingpin should come to the rescue and restore the country’s good image. Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, who recently came out as no longer a homophobe, should be thrilled.