Tel Aviv gay center victims visit Germany


(JTA) — A German gay advocacy group is hosting 11 Israeli teens who survived a deadly attack a year ago on a center for gay youth in Tel Aviv.

Two youths were killed in last August’s attack on the Agudah center for for gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual youth. Eleven people were wounded, four of them critically.

This week, the Israeli teens are being hosted by a new program called Rainbow, initiated by Maneo, a Berlin-based GLTB hotline. Members of Maneo visited Israel earlier this summer, according to a report on Deutschland Radio, and devised the program as a demonstration of solidarity with the survivors of the Tel Aviv attack.

The visitors — including Ayala Katz, whose son, Nir Katz, was killed in the Tel Aviv attack — were to meet with members of the Berlin and Cologne Jewish
communities, with public officials and advocates from the GLTB communities in both cities. One aim is to exchange ideas about how to educate the general public and law enforcement regarding tolerance and prevention of violence.

Participants in the trip will also have a chance to visit gay bars in both cities, Deutschland Radio reported.

Organizers held a ceremony in Berlin honoring the memories of the two people murdered last year, Nir Katz, 26, a counselor at the center, and Liz Tarboushi, 17.

Maneo director Bastian Finke told Deutschland Radio that his group had contacted friends in Tel Aviv shortly after the attack, and suggested the "Rainbow" invitation for the following year.

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