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do you have a purple scarf?

Thursday, October 20, 2011 is Spirit Day! Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying.  Spirit Day was started in 2010 by teenager Brittany McMillan as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. Observed annually on October 20, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, media professionals and celebrities wear purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag.   Getting involved is easy -- participants are asked to simply "go purple" on October 20 as we work to create a world in which LGBT teens are celebrated and accepted for who they are.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 is Spirit Day! Please wear just a touch of purple to support young people dealing with bullying tomorrow. Sure, it is a bit weird to randomly wear purple as an adult... but, as Dr. Seuss famously said, “life’s a little weird…”. Please go with it by finding an old purple scarf or hat and put it on… By wearing purple tomorrow you are telling young people in our communities that you are a safe person to speak with about their experiences with bullying…

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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Jewish Bay Area

 

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Will you join me and pledge to go purple in support of LGBT youth?

I Support #SpiritDay

Last fall, a young person named Brittany McMillan wanted to do something about the LGBT teens who died by suicide. So she put a call out via a social network for people to wear purple on October 20th in support of LGBT teens and called it spirit day. She thought that only a few hundred at most would wear purple. She never imagined that thousands would respond by wearing purple. But her idea went viral quickly. The cast of Glee dressed up in purple as well as a few of the hosts on The View. Even Anderson Cooper and Dr. Phil got in the purple spirit of spirit day. It was inspiring to see a young person have so much impact.

This year, Brittany is asking the world again to dress in purple. She hopes that the LGBT teens who walk into their classrooms on October 20 to see their teachers and classmates wearing purple will give them a feeling of hope. Again, this year I’m joining Brittany on spirit day by wearing purple. It is such an easy way to help bring hope to young people in our San Francisco Bay Area community. I hope that you also choose to pledge to go purple on October 20 too. Then I hope you will put a call out to your synagogue, school, organization or company to observe Spirit Day as well. Do me a favor, email me at work {lisaf @sfjcf.org} or tag me on facebook with pictures of you dressed in purple so I can continue to create a poster of how our Jewish community dresses up to support LGBT causes.

Together, we can show LGBT teens that they are supported. By pledging to wear purple on October 20, LGBT teens can find you, remember who you are and if they ever need someone to trust in coming out they know you can be a safe advocate and friend to connect with.

What is Spirit Day? How can you celebrate LGBT Teens in your Jewish community? Learn more.

During a gathering at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) LGBT Advocate, Jessica Trubowitch, with Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) speaks with another proud LGBT San Francisco Jewish leader, Rebecca Prozan!

During a gathering at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) LGBT Advocate, Jessica Trubowitch, with Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) speaks with another proud LGBT San Francisco Jewish leader, Rebecca Prozan!

Me with another proud 2010 Spirit Day supporter, LGBT Jewish leader, Jamie Wolfe at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum!

Me with another proud 2010 Spirit Day supporter, LGBT Jewish leader, Jamie Wolfe at the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum!

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Jewish Bay Area, LGBT Alliance

 

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An Evening in Gay Paris!

Grow, learn, heal, enjoy the outdoors with community scholarships for LGBT Jews and families

Professional networking, going to tres-gay parties, chasing movies and cute movie goers at Frameline and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, AIDS Walking and schmoozing have dominated my queer Jewish summer thus far but don’t worry – plenty more options are already on the calendar that will further entice you into this incredible Bay Area Jewish community I work and live in. Just in case you missed it here are a few of the highlights I promoted recently at work…

A Great day-time opportunity: This coming fall the LGBT Alliance is inviting all Bay Area Jewish community professionals to a LGBT Networking Lunch series. Each of the five lunches will take place at the San Francisco Federation and Endowment building (learn more).

An Evening in Gay Paris @ SF MOMA, Contemporary Jewish Museum

Not to be missed next week: An Evening in Gay Paris a party at SFMOMA and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. To get $4 off the entrance you can enter the promo code “JCFLGBT” when you purchase your tickets online. Also, don’t worry, the Jewish Film Festival still has one more screening of Tomer Heymann’s documentary The Queen Has No Crown as well as this summer’s Jewish Film Festival popular musical hit, Mary Lou will return to the Castro Theater in September.

Shabbat Shalom and here are some Related articles

 

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although we live with hope we still plan on walking next year too

Margee and Kate walking with the Jewish Community Team

This summer marks thirty years of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and according to the SF Chronicle, more than 28,840 San Franciscans have been diagnosed with AIDS, and it has claimed the lives of more than 19,000 San Franciscans.

The walk itself was gorgeous as thousands of people hiked the 6.2 mile route under a ironic mix of both sunny and overcast skies.

Although our local community is strong and learning how to thrive and live within this epidemic we still need to walk to raise awareness, walk to celebrate those who live with the disease, walk to remember those whom we have lost and walk to find a cure.

This summer our Jewish Community AIDS Walk Team, organized by the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, was just one of the nearly 1,000 teams that helped raise over $3 million for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Keep walking.

Together our Jewish Community team was able to raise over $3,000. Our collective donation will be dispersed by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation as grants to strengthen HIV prevention efforts as well as for advocacy, medical care, housing and social services programs for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.

Jewish community leader, Bevan Dufty always attends the San Francisco AIDS Walk.

Thank you to those who were able to show up this year and spend a wonderful day in the sun for a good cause! I received a commitment from the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund to help organize our Jewish community to walk together again in 2012 (details) so save the date to join us again.

In the meantime, take a look at more of our photos on facebook and take a look at our video of the great time we had together:

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Jewish Bay Area

 

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Volunteers are my personal hero’s and further, they are serious superstars! Thank you for your help.

The view inside our Jewish Community Outreach booth at Pride this summer.

For the past several years my work has allowed me to partner with several organizations at our two-day Jewish Community Outreach booth at San Francisco Pride.

Lisa Finkelstein the Director of the LGBT Alliance holding a young girl on her lap while coloring at the Contemporary Jewish Museum's table.

Four Jewish Community professionals stopped by our booth during their fun times at Pride. Take a look at more photos of these friends on our facebook page.

The partners we choose is based on their continuous efforts in distinguishing themselves as partners in the work of celebrating our diverse LGBT Jewish community.

Thank you to the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) and Be’chol Lashon, meaning In Every Tongue in Hebrew, who contributed as primary partners to the San Francisco Pride Jewish Community outreach booth.

Johnny, our Contemporary Jewish Museum volunteer, proudly holds up the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas paper doll cutouts that provided a fun activity for kids of all ages to work with.

Four ladies stop by the Jewish Community booth. Take a look at more of the photos on our Facebook page!

A next huge thank you to the professional partners of Kol TzedekKeshetNehirimA Wider BridgeNUJLS and Congregation Sha’ar Zahav for making this year such a success.Two women smile in front of the Gertrude Stein backdrop.

An additional thank you needs to be extended to Sierra Gonzalez, the Marketing & Audience Strategy Associate at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), for loaning us the Backdrop depicting Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas’s Salon at their famous 27 Rue de Fleur apartment in Paris taken in 1934.

This woman stopped by proudly wearing her Exiles shirt. The Exiles meets below where the Mission Minyan gathers on Friday evenings inside the Women's Building. The Exiles are a non-profit educational group for women who have a positive personal interest in BDSM between women in San Francisco. The group provides educational events where women with all levels of experience will have a safe place to meet, explore and share information about safety, play techniques and resources, and connect with the leather community locally.

These three Cheer LA folks stopped by to see one of our incredible leaders. The woman in the center of this photo is the sister of Erik Ludwig, the Chief Operating Officer of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR) and Bechol Lashon. Cheer LA is committed to helping organizations who are working so hard on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic.

A young woman at our SF Pride booth loves taking a shot in front of the SFMOMA backdrop of the photo of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas’s home at 27 Rue de Fleur in Paris, 1934. Thanks again to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Inside Gertrude Stein's Salon at San Francisco Pride 2011

For our volunteers, staff and selfless-schlepps alike please feel just one more huge thank you. These folks are superstars in my heart: Adar Schneider, Amy Rabbino, Ariel Chasnoff, Daniel Sanson, Dakota Hunter, Daryl Carr, David Zeeman, Dr. Donny Inbar, Erik Ludwig, Esther Gibian Fishman, Glen So, Harriett Hardy, Johnny Sun, Josh Weisman, Kevin Johnson, Leah Greenberg, Marissa, Maxwell Kopeikin, Melanie Samay, Rachel Levinson, Zach Ruleymeyer, Rabbi David Baur and Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder.

Diane Tobin

Lastly, a very sincere deep thanks needs to be saved for Diane Tobin. Diane, who is the Director of Be’chol Lashon, modeled exceptional community partnership, friendship and professionalism.

Volunteer and Staff Stars of Pride 2011

אַ דאַנק. Thank you. তোমাকে ধন্যবাদ. 谢谢. salamat. Thank you. σας ευχαριστώ. Mèsi poutèt ou. תודה. Dankie. شكرا. Terima kasih. ありがとう. با تشکر از شما. 감사합니다. Muchas gracias. آپ کا شکریہ. 

 

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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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Providing a Jewish community weekend for LGBTQ parents & their children to learn, explore, & play in the beauty of the Sierra Mountains!

Keshet LGBTQ Family Camp Providing community for LGBTQ parents & their children to learn, explore, & play in the beauty of the Sierra Mountains! During one incredible weekend each summer dozens of families from across the globe gather together at Camp Tawonga for what is called, Keshet LGBTQ Family Camp. Keshet, meaning rainbow in Hebrew, provides an opportunity for families that somewhat resemble each other to have fun hiking, creating arts and crafts, and partaking in workshops (learn more).

Single-headed families, blended-families, co-parenting families, interfaith families that identify somewhere along the of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Trans spectrum find themselves returning each summer.  Last summer at Keshet I brought my own model of queer family to Keshet. I brought my god-niece because I want to be sure that she grows up experiencing the joy and normalcy of other queer families like ours.Holding my god-niece at Pride

This year’s Keshet LGBTQ Weekend is August 25-28 and due to the generosity of the donors to our Jewish Community Federation’s LGBT Alliance, Camp Tawonga is able to offer 10% off every families Keshet program fees to those who register by June 30. This discount will not affect any additional financial assistance applications or decisions. Additionally, our Jewish Community Federation provides needs-based scholarships for Jewish children who live in the San Francisco Bay Area to attend a qualified family specialty camp (learn more). Please help me spread the word about these great financial assistance programs and I look forward to seeing each of you and yours along the river this summer at Keshet!

 

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Lambda Literary Awards Jewish Transgender Anthology

Noach Dzmura editor of the anthology, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community has said, “no matter where you fall on the spectrum of Jewish observance, and no matter where you fall on the spectrum of gender identity, there is a home for you in the Jewish community.”  This message of finding a home for Gender Variant and Trans identified people is clearly one of the overarching messages that made Noach’s anthology a Lambda Literary Award winner in the category of Transgender Non-Fiction this last week.Noach Dzmura

“The Lammys” or The Lambda Literary Awards, have been awarding published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes since 1988. Although this is far from the first time a Jewish author or Jewish subject received a Lammy, this is the first time that an anthology devoted entirely to the encounter between Jewish life and practice, and transgender bodies has been awarded. Based on my experience working with Noach over the past few years, this book is the summary of his investment towards ensuring that transgender inclusion is an increasingly understood reality throughout the organized Jewish community.

A natural thought leader, Noach is a local Educator and Activist who holds a Masters Degree in both Instructional Design and Jewish Studies.  Together with Rachel Biale, Rebecca Weiner, Karen Earlichman, myself and Ruby Cymrot-Wu as part of our professional Bay Area LGBT Jewish collective, Kol Tzedek, he co-author a Transgender Inclusion Report that led to the creation of the Transgender Task Force at the Jewish Community Federation. Noach started the East Bay Transgender Chevra, has written for the Forward, Sh’ma, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle, Tikkun and Zeek. Through all of his varied local community experiences started the site, Jewish Transitions to help further convey the messages also found in the anthology.

Many of the writers in his anthology like Kate Bornstein, Rabbi Elliot Kukla, Rabbi Reuben Zellman, Charlotte Fonrobert, Maggid Jhos Singer, Eliron Hamburger and Chav Doherty are also active change-makers and thought-leaders with strong roots in our local Jewish community. Yasher Koach, to the leaders and writers from across North America that provided their powerful pieces to the anthology and continue to help navigate the path of transforming our collective understanding of the full spectrum of Jewish lives.

Noach Dzmura and many of the contributing essayists are available to speak with your organization, synagogue, chevra kadisha, ritual committee, or book club in a range of formats. Please connect with Noach at Jewish Transitions to learn more about how to have these important topics brought to your community.

 

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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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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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