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Have you started to celebrate LGBT Pride month yet? Here is my top ten moments that I look forward to each year in San Francisco.

Since I was a teenager I have made San Francisco Pride month an annual rite of passage that I won’t skip for anything. Here are my top 10 annual favorite Pride moments that I can hardly wait to enjoy again this year:
  1. Not being the only person in the audience falling in love with each amazing performance at Fresh Meat Festival of transgender and queer performance…  (don’t miss this!)Fresh Meat Productions creates, presents and tours transgender and queer performance, dance and media arts.
  2. Seeing as many films made by my Jewish queer friends as possible at Frameline… ( we have a few more comp tickets let me know if you want one)One of my favorite colleagues at Pride with her Rabbi
  3. Submerging my entire body in sunscreen and still getting a suntan at Civic Center at our Jewish Pride booth… (keep me company at our booth!)Our annual Jewish community booth
  4. Giving my aunts, uncles and parents huge hugs when I run into them randomly having their own fun at Pride without me even asking them to be there to support me…my amazing family enjoying Pride together
  5. Standing on stage to introduce an Israeli LGBT Film or Gay Jewish Director and feeling awe-struck by the beautiful people in the crowd there to see another incredible LGBT film…me doing what i love to do - organizing loudly at pride
  6. Waving hello to the thousands of participants of the annual Trans March from the windows above where they are marching at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav during our Annual Kabbalat Shabbat Pride ServiceTrans Marchers
  7. Enjoying what always seems to be the very best day of San Francisco weather with clear blue sunny skies amongst the thousands of rowdy hot hipsters at the Dyke Rally and Marchdyke march and rally is always an incredible people watching experience at the very least!
  8. Letting everything hang-out and dancing in the streets at the best street party of the year with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on Pink Saturday…Pink Saturday in the Castro
  9. Being overwhelmed and overbooked by the sheer amount of options to celebrate Pride Jewishly!Rabbi's Marching in the 2009 Pride Parade
  10. Taking the morning off work to just catch-up on sleep the day after the Frameline closing night film and party…  Seeing everyone at the Castro Theatre, Victoria or Roxie during Frameline each year is the best!
 

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be here or there or there rain or shine

Gertrude Stein with friends circa 1934. Photograph from the Yale Collection of American Literature Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

I doubt that Gertrude Stein was thinking about Shabbat when she wrote, “generally speaking, everyone is more interesting doing nothing than doing anything,” but I might be wrong. Tomorrow at SFMOMA I will take a bit of time to think about that possibility while participating in a replication of the queer literary salons that Gertrude and her family once hosted in the 1920’s in their Paris apartment (details). Rain or shine there will be more of something on Sunday at Israel in the Gardens (details) with music, dancing, art, and general fabulous people watching. find me i will be signing folks up to participate in the AIDS Walk (details) before heading off to my “hip pop hapa japa” besties wedding at the Fairmont that night.

What a weekend and it is only the first of many during San Francisco’s Pride month! Shabbat Shalom, friends. Take a look at the myriad of ways you and yours can participate Jewishly in the many of the fabulous festivities of Pride (details).

 

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Honor the memory and birthday of one of our most globally recognized San Francisco Gay Jewish leaders with your own messages of hope!

Come Out! Come Out! Wherever you are!  Come Out! Come Out! Wherever you are and celebrate the 2nd Annual Harvey Milk Day this weekend! Harvey Milk, the New York born and raised son of Jewish immigrants became the first openly gay man elected to a major public office in 1978. Sadly, within a few months of his San Francisco election he was assassinated (more). Harvey’s memory is now being remembered, celebrated and honored globally each year on his birthday as a day of action. Celebrate by telling your story and taking action. Celebrate by suggesting more LGBT Jewish hero’s to honor with the Hineini Visibility Project.  Learn more about Harvey Milk and how to honor his memory…

 Harvey Milk Facebook Profile Picture Campaign

Change your Facebook profile picture to this 1953-54 US Navy photo provided here for download from the Harvey Milk Foundation

 

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Dana International of Israel helps out Eurovision

Thirteen years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with Diva in 1998 Dana International was back again representing Israel with her self composed entry Ding Dong as she attempted to win the title again. Dana’s victory in the 1998 contest had a strong impression on the world, and she became a cultural icon. In Israel (which has participated in Eurovision almost every year since 1973), on the night of the 1998 victory, thousands of people celebrated on the streets, and Dana has been a star ever since.

When I travel or speak with Israeli people and describe what I do for a living her name will come up within three minutes. It is like clock-work. I say something about Trans rights in English. The person I am speaking with asks what that means. Someone who is also Israeli and standing near us or involved in the conversation interjects and simply says, “Dana, you know Dana International.”   Dana International has become synonymous with not only the rights of Trans people but the full LGBT spectrum of identities. It is amazing.

Although she was sadly voted out of Eurovison Thursday night the history of this extraordinary woman has helped change the understanding of LGBT civil rights not only in Israel but also across the globe. Take a look at this BBC video talking about her impact on our world:

Dana International of Israel performs her song 'Ding Dong' during a rehearsal for the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf May 11, 2011. Photograph by: Ina Fassbender, REUTERS

Dana International of Israel performs her song 'Ding Dong' during a rehearsal for the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf May 11, 2011. Photograph by: Ina Fassbender, REUTERS

I hope that you will be able to join me at our Federations’ LGBT Alliance booth celebrating Dana International and her contributions to our global community at Israel in the Gardens this June 5 in San Francisco.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Israel

 

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Sandor Elix Katz is a Jewish Gay Foodie that wants to read to you.

Are you into discussing underground food movements? Do you love pickling? Are you looking for an opportunity to meet someone else who understands the beauty of fermentation? From May 13 – 22 a fabulously Jewish and proudly Gay Foodie is on his book tour making a dozen Bay Area appearances. Check him out

Sandor Ellix Katz was almost destined to become a fermentation revivalist.  Katz is the author of two popular fermentation and food politic manifestos, “Wild Fermentation” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved,” and he has spent the last two decades farming, fermenting, teaching and writing.

Sandor Ellix Katz was almost destined to become a fermentation revivalist. Katz is the author of two popular fermentation and food politic manifestos, “Wild Fermentation” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved,” and he has spent the last two decades farming, fermenting, teaching and writing.

 

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who were the Steins anyway?

Rebecca Rabinow, associate curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and co-curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) exhibition “The Steins Collect,” provides an overview of how this family — Leo, Gertrude, Michael, and Sarah Stein — changed the face of modern art. In the two SF MOMA videos below Rabinow begins with the family’s life in Paris, where they began collecting and befriended some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.

Overwhelmed by the selection of events to go to this summer? You can take a look at the selection of Stein events catered mostly to a LGBT audience here.

 

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Summer of Stein is heating up

Gertrude Stein z”l, was a local Bay Area Jewish woman who later made a home in Paris with her love, Alice B. Toklas. Today she is thought of as a brilliantly complex lesbian cultural icon. The San Francisco Yerba Buena neighborhood is celebrating the life of Gertrude Stein and her influence on modern art, literature, and culture with exhibitions this summer at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM), along with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Litquake and the Queer Cultural Center’s National Queer Arts Festival.

I have spent a bit of time selecting a few interesting operas, poetry readings, family art days, films salons, lectures, and presentations perfect for the LGBT Jew (or the fan of LGBT Jews) to participate in what promises to be a spectacular ‘Summer of Stein’. You can take a look at my selection here.

illustrated portrait of Gertrude Stein by Ward Schumaker

This illustrated portrait of Gertrude Stein was created around 1990 by Ward Schumaker an artist, living and working in San Francisco. It was published in a limited edition by Yolla Bolly Press. I understand that it is to be included in San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum exhibition (May 12 - September 6).

 

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wayne koestenbaum takes on the stein’s as a queer historian

while exploring how i will choose which gertrude stein events to attend this summer i got side-tracked by wayne koestenbaum. this gay jewish writer and cultural critic is this year’s phyllis wattis distinguished lecture. i was able to learn a little bit about his contributions and amazing writings that tackle our queer cultural history today. understanding how much of a key figure gertrude stein is within queer history koestenbaum has been commissioned by SFMOMA to write a new piece related to the stein exhibition.

just in case you have interest in hearing wayne koestenbaum speak on the topic of painting and writing on june 2 here is a link to find out more information.

Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films: New Poems [Paperback] Wayne Koestenbaum Turtle Point Press (April 1, 2006)

New York–based Wayne Koestenbaum is well known for his fifth book of verse published in 2006 titled, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films: New Poems. A critic described the book as a piece that, "ranges widely, entertainingly, sometimes bizarrely through fears, loves, tastes and obsessions: movie stars, middle age, cats, social theory, the meaning of cool and the significance of the poet's mother (the poet Phyllis Koestenbaum)."

 

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san francisco jews make hip-hop kosher in japantown

Y-Love (Yitz Jordan) is part of the new guard of Jewish hip hop revolutionaries.

Y-Love (Yitz Jordan) is part of the new guard of Jewish hip hop revolutionaries.

Sometimes my work can be about bringing community groups closer to knowing how to celebrate LGBT identity in Jewish life. Sometimes this means that my work is about bringing out of the box thinking into the mainstream. Sometimes this means I get to work with incredible people and incredible organizations that model what it means, what it feels like and what it looks like to be a part of a truly inclusive and unified Jewish community. Be’chol Lashon, Hebrew for In Every Tongue, is one of the groups that I get to work with that consistently models this inclusive ideal that I spend my professional life working towards.

On Saturday, May 14 please consider joining my friends at Be’chol Lashon at a free celebration with the New York Orthodox Jewish rapper, Y-Love (Yitz Jordan). The live performance will be at the Sakura Lounge inside the Kabuki Hotel in Japantown.  RSVP in advance to receive a free DVD!

 

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Shalom! Sasha T. Goldberg! Shalom!

Sasha T. Goldberg is Keshet's San Francisco Bay Area Director

Sasha T. Goldberg is Keshet's San Francisco Bay Area Director

Keshet’s San Francisco Bay Area office opens today with Sasha T. Goldberg, an experienced Jewish scholar, educator and community organizer as the Director. Nationally, Keshet offers support, training, and resources to create a Jewish community that welcomes and affirms GLBT Jews.

As many of you may already know, Sasha has been working with Nehirim since 2007 and left her position as Nehirim’s Associate Director and Director of Student Programming with NUJLS right before Passover this year. She holds a Master’s Degree in Judaism from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, and has taught nationally on the intersections of Judaism and various cultural, social, sexual, and religious identities. Prior to joining Nehirim, she taught grades K-12 in religious schools, led Jewish teen retreats, and worked with a wide variety of Jewish organizations in the Bay Area.

Keshet’s SF Bay Area office will build upon the successes of Jewish Mosaic’s Bay Area office and Karen Lee Erlichman’s four years representing Jewish Mosaic in the region (Jewish Mosaic and Keshet merged, effective July 1, 2010 and Karen left her position in mid-April 2010 to broaden her career opportunities with her private practice).

Of course, I look forward to celebrating the opening of Keshet’s Bay Area office today alongside our local LGBT Jewish professionals collective, Kol Tzedek. Please join me in welcoming my dear friend and colleague, Sasha T. Goldberg (sasha@keshetonline.org) to her new position!

 

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