Here’s a quick list from our friends over at JQYouth of media coverage of LGBTQ Jewish Orthodox issues last week:
August 2, 2010
May 21, 2010
Last week, a retired guidance counselor at a Jewish community day school told me about her seventh grade student who wanted to kill himself because he was gay. This didn’t happen years ago in a small town. This happened last year in a major metropolitan area with a liberal Jewish community.
What would it take for this gay student and so many other gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer Jews to feel proud and affirmed instead of isolated and ashamed?
This Shabbat, May 22, marks the first annual Harvey Milk Day.
Imagine Jewish communities across the country honoring the memory of this extraordinary activist, a gay Jew who knew how to transform despair into hope. Imagine rabbis dedicating their divrei Torah this week to Harvey Milk’s message of pride in identity. Imagine that seventh grade student walking into his classroom and seeing a poster of Harvey Milk on the wall along with the usual posters of Jerusalem and Jewish baseball players. The poster would present Harvey as an American Jewish hero and provide biographical information about his life.By this time next year, posters of Harvey Milk will, in fact, be on the walls of day school and Hebrew school classrooms around the country.
Keshet has partnered with our friends at Jewish Mosaic to produce a series of educational posters about famous GLBT Jews - of yesterday and today - who have transformed our world. Over the next several months, we’ll be sharing more about our GLBT Jewish poster series and how you can bring these posters to your community. If you or someone you know wants to be part of this project, we’re looking for some savvy researchers to help out over the summer.
May Harvey Milk’s memory be for a blessing, and may we continue heeding Harvey’s call that “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” Ken yehi ratzon. So may it be for us.
Executive Director, Keshet
A Few Great Ways to Honor Harvey Milk
A big thanks to our friends at The LGBT Alliance at The Jewish Community Federation and California Faith for Equality for this great compilation of ways to honor Harvey Milk and keep his vision alive.
- Read a brief history of Harvey Milk’s life
- See the text of Harvey Milk’s famous speech on hope
- Use a inspiring quotes from Harvey Milk to in a drash
- Say a prayer for Harvey Milk Day
- Learn the history of the Harvey Milk Day Bill
- Harvey Milk Day of Action is taking place nationally. Check out what is going on in your area.
- Explore educational and media based resources to help discuss hope, tikkun olam & diversity including this wonderful two minute animated version of Harvey’s famous “You Gotta Give Them Hope Speech.”
- If you haven’t yet seen the incredible documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, now is a perfect time. You can purchase the film or watch it online.
April 28, 2008
Students from a variety of religious and political backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities gathered Thursday evening at the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life for a progressive celebration of Passover. Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s Queer Feminist Seder, a modern take on the traditional Passover meal at which the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt is remembered and retold, gave students the opportunity to examine the issues of oppression and liberation from a new perspective. While the standard Haggadah, the book which contains the order of the Passover seder and tells the story of slavery and liberation stresses a patriarchal world-view, the Queer Feminist Seder reconstructed this tradition and used the themes of the holiday to question societal gender roles and heteronormativity.
Traditional liturgy was challenged while remaining true to the meaning and spirit of the holiday. Students introduced themselves at the beginning of the event by telling their matriarchal lineage. Instead of reading the traditional “four questions” of the Passover seder, participants asked questions particularly relevant to the LGBTQ community. The “four sons” mentioned in the Haggadah were replaced with the “four adults,” reversing the traditional structure of children having only questions and adults only answers.
The traditional seder plate in the center of the room included a symbol that is quickly becoming the norm at progressive seders: an orange, signifying diversity and equality. The Jewish feminist scholar Susannah Heschel introduced this element in the 1980s as a more acceptable alternative to the suggestion of including a crust of bread on the seder plate in solidarity with lesbians who felt excluded from Judaism. Several legends circulate about this tradition, such as the often-quoted urban legend that a rabbi once declared that a woman belongs on the bimah as much as an orange belongs on the seder plate. As students at Thursday’s seder ate orange segments, the seeds that they spit out symbolized their repudiation of homophobia and sexism.
“To free ourselves from constraints and definitions that are enforced on us by social and political institutions is the essence of feminism,” noted Chanel Dubofsky, coordinator of social justice programming at Columbia/Barnard Hillel and an organizer of the event. “Freedom is scary; the Jewish people understood that perhaps even before they began wandering into the desert.” Dubofsky worked with D’ror Chankin-Gould, Senior Junior Campus Service Corps fellow and editor-in-chief of the Hillel LGBTQ Resource Guide, in putting together the seder.
“Passover is about liberation from oppression,” said Chankin-Gould. “It’s about believing, against all odds, that the powerless can find power and that the hopeless can find hope. So today we have a Queer seder, because reclaiming the word with power and pride is our verbalized belief in liberation. And that, above all else, is what Passover asks us to do: believe in freedom.”
Students saw the seder as an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge all of their identities, including Judaism. “Having a place for people to fully celebrate themselves, their political ideals, sexual orientations, and full lineage, and simultaneously engage with ritual and tradition, is vital to creating a welcoming and inclusive Jewish community,” said Alana Krivo-Kaufman, Communications Director of Gayava, Hillel’s group for LGBTQ students and allies. “I hope that Gayava can work off of this event to build more accesible spaces like this in the future.”
September 9, 2007
So much went on this week I just can’t get it all on this post right now. But the internet is hopping with articles and posts about LGBTQ Jewish related topics. Here aare just a few - the directly related.
Have a great Rosh Hashana. There are a number of service options on the calendar.
Ivri Lider discusses his recent blacklisting.
By gay TLV(gay TLV)
Israeli pop star Ivri Lider’s fame in Israel has climbed steadily over a decade-long career, only increasing after he came out in 2002. As proud of his country as he is of being gay, the singer even did double duty during his US tour…
Rabbi speaks out on same-sex ceremony
DesMoinesRegister.com - Des Moines,IA,USA
… I was going to do one for two gay friends of hers and let the press know about it, BUT NOT ME or Temple B’nai Jeshurun. Neither of the men was Jewish. …
Big Brother: Big Brother Thy Name Is CBS
Reality TV Calendar - Prescott,Canada
There have been homophobic (anti-gay) remarks. There have been Anti-Semantic (anti-Jewish) remarks as well. That’s a whole lot of controversy for one little …
Bay Windows - Boston,MA,USA
Max Feldman, who wrote and recorded the first song that proclaimed a lesbian identity, died unexpectedly at home in Albuquerque, NM, on Aug. 17. …
Lesbian trail blazer Maxine Feldman dies
EDGE Boston - Boston,MA,USA
Those who knew Feldman offstage described a person who was alternately sensitive and gentle or loud, proud and, in the words of Tyler, “very Jewish. …
Anti-Semitic symbols scrawled on LI synagogue, high school
Newsday - Long Island,NY,USA
“This was an act against Jews, but it could be an act against people of color, or people who are gay,” said Rabbi Lee Friedlander, of the synagogue, …
SF Democrats Promote Anti-Semitic Jesus Band in Wash Sq Park
Bay Area Indymedia - San Francisco,CA,USA
This noisey band also showed up at Washington Square Park during Gay Pride weekend in June, and were called Jews for Jesus and openly promoted not only the …
Today’s the day for the Jewdas film fest
From gay rights to comic books, from vegans to the Middle East, all issues for modern Jewry will be explored on screen. The screening includes the European premiere of American doc Young, Jewish and Left and the UK’s first cinema …
JTA.org — Gay, lesbian Brazilian Jews want acceptance
A group representing Brazilian gay and lesbian Jews focuses on how to reconcile homosexuality with Judaism and how the various streams of Judaism relate to …
Israeli filmmaker makes ‘invisible years’ clearer
Israel 21C - Cupertino,CA,USA
In terms of the Israel’s aging gay population, he sees similarities, differences and universal themes as compared to the New York and other scenes. …
Eytan Fox’s ‘The Bubble’: a gay love story in Israel - San …
Eytan Fox’s ‘The Bubble’: a gay love story in Israel San Francisco Chronicle, USA - 31 minutes ago There isn’ta Castro, but maybe it means we’re in a more advanced place, where gay people are all over and part of mainstream society. …
Hungarian gay groups condemn radio station’s Nazi photomontage
UX.TV - Maastricht, Netherlands
The creation of the Magyar Garda by the extreme-right party Jobbik has raised fears among the Jewish community both in Hungary and internationally. …
Eytan Fox’s ‘The Bubble’: a gay love story in Israel
San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
“She was an American Jewish lady who moved with her husband and three children to Israel in the mid ’60s, and after the initial shock - Jerusalem was such a …
The show may go on for canceled student play
Orlando Sentinel - Orlando,FL,USA
Both the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando and the Orlando Gay Chorus said they would help find space, actors and anything else the teens need this …
Rosh HaShanah (The beginning of the Jewish Year)
By gay TLV(gay TLV)
In two weeks from now, the Jewish world will celebrate the begining of a new year (Rosh HaShanah ). By the tradition, Rosh HaShanah is the day on which God created Man, Adam, God’s final and most precious creation. …
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