Gay conversion therapy active in Israel


(JTA) — Conversion therapists who claim they can turn gays to heterosexuals say they have found a haven in Israel.

An estimated 20 to 30 licensed psychologists and social workers and 50 non-licensed therapists practice some form of conversion therapy in Israel, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Before it was ordered shuttered by a New Jersey court in December, the Orthodox Jewish nonprofit Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing had referred patients in Israel to some of the psychologists and therapists operating there.

Among the conversion therapy clients are Orthodox Jewish teenagers from the United States who attend yeshivas and other post-high school programs in Israel.

There is no law restricting conversion therapy in Israel, but the Health Ministry advises against the practice.

In Israel, therapists say there is greater acceptance of their work than in the United States, AP reported.

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