“I come from a paradox of a family of post-Holocaust Jewish liberals who believe in human rights and that everyone is equal - but just don’t marry a non-Jew,” she said.Make sure to sign up for our Israel B newsletter today! Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner.
“We know that we’re the kind of marriage that Israel doesn't want and I think a lot of Muslims aren’t thrilled by it either,” said Varda, who asked that the family’s surname not be published.
Over the course of 16 largely happy years of marriage and raising children, the couple have had to vault hurdles thrown up by the Israeli state and their respective societies.
"It was a common practice [for LGBTQ men to seek heterosexual marriages] until 2008 when Hod was founded.
Today, the pair are one of only a few hundred Jewish-Arab married couples living in Israel and unions like theirs - though rare - are a source of deep anxiety for some Israelis who believe intermarriage could ultimately mean the end of the Jewish state.
So far, around 50 people have signed up, ranging from ultra-Orthodox to conservative Jews.
The site's founder, who goes by the name Eran, reportedly started the underground website after a Facebook post he wrote seeking a platonic wife went viral last year, inspiring friends and strangers alike to contact him in search of a similar relationship.
There were a hundred people at the house and eventually they noticed she was there,” he laughed.
The reaction of Varda’s progressive Dutch parents was more complicated.
It appears these people acknowledge their LGBTQ identity isn't a "phase," but want to stay in the closet nonetheless. I made a list and even set some people up," Eran said to "But, as the requests multiplied, I decided that it was in everybody's interest to make a framework for it and give people a place where they could find the kind of relationship that they're looking for." People on Eran's site have wildly diverse expectations for the arrangement, ranging from an open policy on extramarital affairs to users, like "Seeking Truth," who wrote this message: "I'm looking for a woman who doesn't want to follow her orientation, but rather wants to make a real and Jewish home.
I'm not looking for a woman who's interested in extra-marital liaisons!
Another recent phenomenon are the Jewish speed dating services and agencies (also known as Hurry Date or Hurry Date), which arrange speed dating sessions for Jewish singles - allowing single men and women to meet many potential mates in one evening, face to face, not online.