In 1976, two meetings were held in Washington, D.C.. The first was held in February with representatives from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Montreal, Toronto, and Tel Aviv, to discuss common concerns and set in motion a way for gay and lesbian Jews to work together. In August, thanks to their efforts, several dozen representatives of these organizations attended the First International Conference of Gay Jews.
Then in 1977, New York hosted the Second International Conference of Gay Jews with over 200 people attending. At this conference the name was changed to the International Conference of Gay and Lesbian Jews. Subsequent conferences were held in Los Angeles in 1978 and Israel in 1979. In 1980 in San Francisco, the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organizations was officially born with a Management Committee elected to run its affairs and the creation of By-Laws.
Since 1980, the organization has changed its name several times, and is now known as the World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah. The Hebrew name means rainbow of pride and reflects the importance of Israel to our organization. It has member organizations worldwide, and holds annual board meetings as well as both regional and world conferences. The World Congress’ mission is to be the worldwide voice of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews.