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Tag Archives: Orthodox Judaism

An Orthodox Gay First?

Orthodox-ordained Rabbi Steve Greenberg presiding at same-sex wedding of Yoni Bock and Ron Kaplan in Washington, DC synagogue, 10 November 2011 (photo: Roee Ruttenberg)

Orthodox-ordained Rabbi Steve Greenberg presiding at same-sex wedding of Yoni Bock and Ron Kaplan in Washington, DC synagogue, 10 November 2011 (photo: Roee Ruttenberg)

Yasher Koach to chatanim (חתנים or grooms) Yoni Bock and Ron Kaplan!

Standing in matching kittle’s (קיטלנים or traditionally white linen robes that Ashkenazim are known to be buried in after wearing it to their wedding as well as annually on Yom Kippur to signify purity, holiness and new beginnings) and orange kippah’s (כִּפוֹת or platter-shaped head caps worn for respect) the two men stood under the chupah (a symbol of the home that the couple will build together) in Washington D.C. holding hands.

I understand from the blogsphere that many in the Orthodox tradition are dismissing the wedding as both of the grooms are men. Although no one has asked me my opinion on the matter here it is: of course it counts. The grooms were married in Washington D.C. by Rabbi Steven Greenberg, author of the 2004 groundbreaking book Wrestling with God & Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition. 

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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Queer Jewish Leaders

 

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LGBT Book Readings at the Jewish Community Library

Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires, A presentation by Miryam Kabakov will be held on Thursday, November 17 at 7pm.

Reconciling queerness with religion has always been an enormous challenge. When the religion is Orthodox Judaism, the task is even more daunting. The anthology Keep Your Wives Away from Them, edited by Miryam Kabakov, takes on that challenge by giving voice to lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jewish women who were once silenced—and effectively rendered invisible—by their faith. It tells the story of those who have come out, who are still closeted, living double lives, or struggling to maintain an integrated "single life" in relationship to traditional Judaism.

On Tuesday, December 13 at 7pm join Noach Dzmura, editor of Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community along with contributors Chav Doherty, Martin Rawlings-Fein, Jhos Singer, and Max Strassfeld in conversation.

How can transgender people live pious Jewish lives when many of their significant life choices might be considered “un-kosher”? How might parenting be complicated, or perhaps, enhanced, when one parent has changed sex? How does it feel to be in “men only” ritual space when you were once defined by your community as female? Balancing on the Mechitza is an anthology by activists, theologians, and scholars, both transgender and non-transgender allies, who share their interpretation of Jewish texts about ambiguous bodies, as well as their sacred and secular stories

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                               Both readings are free and open to the public at the San Francisco Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) Jewish Community Library. The library is located at 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, 94115, between Scott and Pierce on the campus of the Jewish Community High School. There is free garage parking at the entrance on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. For more information contact Allison at (415) 567-3327, ext 703 or ajgreen@bjesf.org.

 

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Upcoming

The pain of concealing one’s identity is something that we understand as out LGBT identified Jews. We are grateful for the privilege of being out and open in our communities, but in so many places the struggle to be our full complete selves continues.

This past weekend at the San Francisco Queer Shabbaton, Lisa Finkelstein had the opportunity to attend as well as faciliate a discussion on the how the intersection of intimacy and boundries can build a diverse Jewish community. The previous weekend Arthur had the opportunity to attend an East Coast Orthodox-based Shabbaton with 140 other LGBT Jews. Many of the participants said to Arthur with great emotion that they had dreamed all their lives of a community where they could be their authentic LGBT Jewish selves. As each community event, party, concert, discussion or fundraiser presents opportunities to connect all of our LGBT Jewish lives together we hope that you will too choose to join us out in the community.  

 

From the expansion of visitation rights at hospitals, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and now the unbarred travel to the U.S. for people living with HIV/AIDS, our community has cause for celebration, yet there is much more work ahead. See our upcoming events and read an elaboration on these topics written by our newest Federation team member, Max Kopeikin.

 

Arthur Slepian, Chair & Lisa Finkelstein, Director of the LGBT Alliance of the Jewish Community Federation co-wrote this piece in hopes to seeing all of our readers OUT in the community

    

Congregation Sha’ar Zahav and Stanford Hillel
Feb 25, 26 & 27   

The Taube Center for Jewish Studies at Stanford hosts a weekend of Shabbat connections, Discussion & Learning
Power of One
Feb 07 5:00pm - Feb 07 8:30pm
 A celebration of Jewish women & men who inspire each & every one of us to make a difference.
Israeli Photographer Adi Nes
JCCSF – Feb 01 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Hillel at Stanford – Feb 02 12:30pm - 2:00pm 

Palo Alto JCC - Feb 02 7:30pm - 9:30pm


Internationally acclaimed Israeli artist about his Israeli homo-erotic soldiers’ Last Supper, homeless Bible Stories and much more 

Celebration of The Robert Giard Exhibibition
JCCSF
Feb 09 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Particular Voices: Portraits of Jewish Gay and Lesbian Writers featuring poets Teya Schafferm & Elana Dykewomon
Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right
Feb 09 7:00pm – 9:00pm

From toddlers to teens, teaching children to think and act ethically with author expert Barbara Coloroso

 

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in LGBT Alliance

 

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i am ready for a gay jewish party

jonathan adler

jonathan adler asked what most gay jews ask me. how can he find other gay jews to shmooze with? we get asked to connect with “community” so often but who is this “community” and how can we connect with it and where? it seems so daunting or even tasked with additional demands for our time. sometimes this “community” might not be so conducive to our lives as queer, gay, lesbian, bi, and trans jews.

so the question, how can someone, including the infamous jonathan adler, find gay jews to get to know in san francisco? here is my answer: at a party – of course! and jonathan adler is graciously hosting the annual vodkas and latkes lgbt alliance hanukkah celebration just to find you to shmooze with!

celebrate a night of hanukkah, in style!

so please rsvp, spread the word to your friends and family, invite your jews, your jewish appreciators and your gays and queer appreciators to celebrate hanukkah together with free-flowing drinks and schmoozing in jonathan’s home design boutique from 6 to 9pm on december 1. 2133 fillmore street is walkable from muni 1, 2, 3, 22 and 24 lines as we all know pacific heights is not known for ample parking! you should rsvp too because if you do you become eligible for a name tag, opportunities to shine in front of your friends and even receive a hanukkah survival gift!

can’t make it? bummer, i hope to see you next time as more shmoozing with gay jews is always listed on our local lgbt alliance of the jewish community federation website.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in LGBT Alliance

 

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tearing down the wall with amos lassen

The wall's wall

Image by goldberg via Flickr

"Balancing On The Mechitza: Transgender in the Jewish Community"--Tearing Down the Walllife never fails to surprise me. i was on the phone with my niece who is undergoing sexual reassignment surgery to become my nephew when noach dzmura’s “balancing on the mechitza” arrived. i immediately sat down and read it, cover to cover. perhaps “read” is the wrong word, i devoured the book. i would be … Read More

via reviews by amos lassen

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2010 in Jewish Bay Area

 

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