Atzat Nefesh was founded in 2001 by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner. Specifically, it addresses people who are dealing with homosexuality, masturbation; pornography, or prostitution; or have been victims of sexual abuse.
Atzat Nefesh operates support groups and a hotline staffed by volunteers with a yeshiva background. The organization believes that with the proper treatment it is possible to change sexual behavior and sexual orientation. Atzat Nefesh upholds the view that by strengthening the masculinity of homosexuals, they will discover their hidden, inborn heterosexuality. To that purpose it organizes three day long workshops, called "Journey to masculinity". The organization directs its applicants to therapists who use conversion therapy methods.
The Israel Ministry of Health in October 2014 adopted the position paper of the Israel Psychological Association which prohibits the use of conversion therapy, as advocated by Atzat Nefesh, and warned the public about such treatments.
In March 2015, Israeli blogger and gay rights advocate Natan Azulay went undercover to receive “conversion therapy” from Atzat Nefesh, and then published a report on the Israeli website Mako. Azulay’s report indicates that Atzat Nefesh continues to refer people to “therapists” whose training is questionable and who are not considered mental health professionals.
- Conversion therapy
- Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing
- LGBT rights opposition
- Opposition to pornography
- Religious views on pornography § Judaism
- Technology Awareness Group: an international Jewish group which helps pornography users
- Trembling Before G-d
- Lichtman, Gail. (November 25, 2005) Jerusalem Post Nature or nurture? Section: Features; Page 18.
- Aviner, Rabbi Shlomó. "The Equivocation" (in Spanish).