Roee Ruttenberg reported over the weekend in +972 Magazine that “for the first time in history an openly-gay American rabbi ordained by the Orthodox movement has officiated at a same-sex wedding ceremony.” He was referring to a Jewish marriage ceremony that Rabbi Steve Greenberg performed for gay couple Yoni Bock and Ron Kaplan at the Historic 6th & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. last Thursday evening.
As Ruttenberg noted, the event was both unique and controversial. Rabbi (...)
Several months ago I got notification that I was the recipient of a scholarship worth $2500. That twenty five hundred dollars would cover meals, travel, and accommodations for ten days in Israel. I would be travelling with a group of LGBT Jews from around the world to the Holy Land. A bunch of gay Jews on a gay trip in Israel? I instantly accepted the scholarship without reading the fine print. The fine print being that in order to experience Gay Israel, I would have to pay for a flight (...)
Who advocates for the minority within a minority? According to a press release posted to their Web site on November 21, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lobbyist organization in the United States - is launching the Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI) survey. The purpose of this study is to analyze and rank Jewish non-profit organizations on their “policies, practices, and programs” that support the LGBT community. The (...)
Many people are surprised when I tell them I voluntarily entered reparative therapy at the age of 21 without pressure from family or religious leaders. I usually respond by telling them that during that time in my life, it wasn’t a choice between coming out and conversion therapy; rather, it was a choice between conversion therapy and not wanting to live anymore.
After completing yeshiva high school and attending three years of black-hat-style yeshiva in Israel and Brooklyn, I returned to (...)
Ari Gold on his knees in front of a drag queen is just one of the images that popped up in our conversation with the sexy singer as he prepped his trek to headline Atlanta Pride’s weekend-long stage roster.
You see, when you’re knighted by the Imperial Court of New York, the 25-year-old human rights charitable organization that models itself after the British royal court system of lords, ladies, dukes and duchesses - with tongues in cheeks and an added big gay flourish - you kneel for the (...)
Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens find wider family support, says TAU researcher
Earlier this week, Wayne Hoffman wrote about a funny thing and shared the meaning behind the names of a few of his characters.
When I was first coming out 25 years ago, there were precious few books about being gay and Jewish. Thankfully, that’s not the case today. There are enough to fill whole bookcases. But will anyone who isn’t gay read them?
Conventional wisdom in the publishing industry says that non-gay people won’t read books with gay themes - with the notable exception of works by (...)
Dotan Brom, an Israeli youth active in the gay community in rural northern Israel, says life outside major urban metropolises is hard on gay Israeli teens.
In Michael Barbaro’s definitive narrative of how gay marriage was passed in New York, Andrew Cuomo savvily harnessed his own popularity, his constituents’ support, and a few rich Republican machers to bring marriage equality to the third most populous state. The wild card there is those Republicans who helped hand a Democratic governor a gigantic substantive and political victory.
Do I need to tell you what those few Republicans tend to have in common?
JTA’s Ron Kampeas noticed a month (...)
May 2011 - Resolution in Support of Equal Rights and Inclusion for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, And Transgender (GLBT) Persons
“Great is human dignity, since it overrides a negative precept of the Torah.” (Sanhedrin 19b)
In 1990, the Rabbinical Assembly passed a resolution entitled “Gay and Lesbian Jews,” which called us to:
Work for full and equal civil rights for gays and lesbians in our national life
Deplore violence against gays and lesbians
Encourage inclusion of gay and lesbian Jews in our congregations, and
Increase our awareness of issues facing gay and lesbian Jews.
Mandatory sensitivity training should be an essential part of "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" repeal, says TAU researcher
As the U.S. military prepares for the repeal of "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" (DADT), policymakers are looking to other military bodies around the world that have successfully integrated gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) soldiers into military service. Now a new study from Tel Aviv University suggests that an integrated support and education dimension is essential to the successful (...)
Rudolf Brazda est mort ce mercredi 3 août, au petit matin, à l’âge de 98 ans, a-t-on appris de Jean-Luc Schwab, son biographe (co-auteur d’Itinéraire d’un Triangle rose, publié aux éditions Florent Massot).
CHEVALIER DE LA LÉGION D’HONNEUR
Rudolf Brazda, dernier survivant connu de la déportation pour motif d’homosexualité durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, avait été élevé au grade de Chevalier dans l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur, en avril dernier. Pour l’association LGBT mémorielle (...)
The annual report on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2011 can now be accessed HERE
Activists from over 90 countries took action this year around May 17, confirming once more the relevance of the Day as a specific entry point for action.
With activity reports, including on media coverage, coming in from many countries, the IDAHO Committee estimates that the Day has provided the opportunity to impact at least 200 million people worldwide.
This report offers a glimpse (...)
Saturday August 13th - Community Day (11:00AM-5:00PM)
Stop by Ga’ava’s booth on Ste-Catherine Street in the Village and take a break at the Tel Aviv Beach! Styled on the “Tel Aviv Gay Vibe” campaign, Ga’ava is recreating the beach (yes, the Hilton beach!) in Tel Aviv. Take a break from walking and hang out in the sand and read some literature on rights and freedoms for minorities in Israel. Give-aways will be provided by the Size Doesn’t Matter campaign!
Sunday August 14th (...)
Watch the video here
About the It Gets Better Project
Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can’t imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted - even tortured - simply for being (...)
Estuvo 32 meses en el campo de concentración de Buchenwald, Alemania. Había sido marcado con el "Triángulo Rosa".
By JOSH LEDERMAN Associated Press
JERUSALEM May 15, 2011 (AP)
A once unimaginable movement is emerging from within Israel’s insular Orthodox Jewish community: homosexuals demanding to be accepted and embraced, no matter what the Bible says.
Living alongside a secular majority that has largely embraced the Western gay rights movement, Israel’s religious gays are increasingly rejecting age-old dictates to ignore their attraction, abstain from sex or undergo therapy that supposedly will make (...)
Israeli group Bat Kol to launch English website as ‘life-net’ for those struggling with acceptance.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Staff Writer, The Jewish Week
Like so many newly religious American immigrants to Israel, 20-year-old Sarah Weil immersed herself in Torah studies and the intricacies of Jewish law, learning intently with the strictest chasidic rebbetzins in various Jerusalem seminaries.
“I desperately wanted to keep Torah and mitzvot and be in the Orthodox (...)
October 5, 2010 | 11:43 am
Posted by Tera Greene
The other day I found myself dancing gayly - I mean, happily/freely - with fellow blogger, Kalil Cohen, in celebration of Simchat Torah. At one point in the night, I broke concentration from my intense jump, jivin’ and wailin’, and thought to myself whilst the Cantor and musicians got into a funky rhythm of Chiri Biri Bim, “Now all we need are disco balls...”
G-d was either just being silly, or completely listening (and in (...)
olland’s first same-sex Jewish commitment ceremony was held in Amsterdam.
The couple, who were not named in the Radio Netherlands report, was united Sunday in the synagogue of the Liberal Jewish Community.
The Council of Rabbis of the Dutch Union of Progressive Judaism recently ruled that such ceremonies may be held in the country’s nine Liberal synagogues. The ceremony, called a brit ahava, or covenant of love, is not an official Jewish wedding, a rabbinic spokesman told reporters. (...)
Date Posted: 2010-08-03 17:15:17
Dozens of Orthodox rabbis have signed a statement of principles calling for the acceptance of gays in the Orthodox community.
The statement, signed by rabbis in the United States and Israel, was released July 29, the same day as a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.
"All human beings are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (kevod haberiyot)," the statement says. "Every Jew is obligated to fulfill the entire range of (...)
Date Posted: 2011-02-23 17:13:59
Dori Spivak, a Harvard graduate and former chairman of Israel’s Association for Civil Rights became Israel’s first openly gay judge appointed to Tel Aviv’s Labour court.
Over the years Spivak has earned a reputation for bringing awareness to various high profile gay cases, and has acted as a strong voice for the gay community internationally. He may be best known for a case he took on in 1997 in which the Supreme Court forced a state channel to broadcast a (...)
A breakthrough legal ruling in the Jerusalem Family Court on Thursday will pave the way for homosexuals to officially adopt their partner’s or spouse’s child, the Tel Aviv-based New Family organization told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
“This is a big step for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in Israel,” commented lawyer Irit Rosenblum, executive director of New Family, an organization that champions the rights of Israelis to marry and build families outside (...)
Not only does this law not provide an alternative to marriage in the rabbinic establishment, it fortifies religious coercion and the Orthodox monopoly over family life.
If you support the “Partnership Covenant” because you believe it is liberal or enlightened, think again. Read the final version of the law confirmed last week and ponder the finer points of the legislative idiocracy.
The most generous interpretation of this law is that it is simply hollow, (...)
Pozniansky, an Israeli couple in their fifties, enjoy being grandparents to their oldest son’s three children. They crave the chance to be grandparents to the offspring of their younger son, Baruch, as well. But that is more difficult since Baruch is dead. The story does not end there. Technology-and a small Tel Aviv organization-hope to enable the Poznianskys to realize their dream.
A top student who loved gourmet cooking and was named outstanding soldier in his combat unit, Baruch died (...)
La Cour suprême d’Israël a annoncé mardi matin que la municipalité de Jérusalem devait financer la communauté LGBT et plus particulièrement Jerusalem Open House (JOH), l’association majeure à Jérusalem qui organise également la gay pride de la ville et qui, jusqu’ici, était financée uniquement par des dons privés.
« PRESQUE 5 ANNÉES DE LUTTE JURIDIQUE »
Dans son jugement, la Cour suprême a reproché à la municipalité de Jérusalem d’avoir rejeté les demandes d’aides de la JOH et a jugé (...)
Tous les vendredis, le Centre des gays et lesbiennes de Tel-Aviv, niché à la lisière
d’un jardin public prend des allures de sortie de garderie. Non sans raison. Selon les estimations du cabinet de conseil juridique israélien Nouvelle famille, Israël compte
18,000 foyers gays et lesbiens. Plus de 3,000 enfants vivent dans une famille
homoparentale, avec deux mères ou deux pères.
“La communauté israélienne, qui habite principalement dans la région de Tel-Aviv, s’est imposée comme (...)
After years of tense waiting, Jerusalem’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community will finally receive funding from the city’s municipality for its Open House center, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
The court criticized the municipality for rejecting the Open House’s pleas for funds, and ruled that it must hand over a sum of $120,000.
In their verdict, the judges wrote that the Open House had been rejected time and again by the municipality and only after appealing to the (...)
Keshet, the largest American organization working for Jewish GLBT inclusion, launched Do Not Stand Idly By: A Jewish Community Pledge To Save Lives, an urgent campaign to put an end to homophobic and transphobic bullying in the Jewish community.
The campaign was launched in partnership with 90 cosponsors including the official bodies and rabbinical associations of the Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Jewish Renewal movements; The Jewish Theological Seminary and three other (...)
I’ve been horrified to hear about the recent rash of suicides of LGBT and other marginalized youth who have been bullied and made to feel worthless. How did we come to such a place where children feel that they have no escape from bullying but to kill themselves? While we can work on changing the minds of bullies and training educators, parents, and community members to stop bullying, I also think that we need to focus on the individuals who are being bullied. How can we better equip (...)
Jewish agencies around the United States want LGBT Jews who have been stereotyped or marginalized to know they have supporters - 18,000 of them.
Locally, the LGBT Alliance of the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation is encouraging people to sign the Do Not Stand Idly By online pledge, a commitment to ending homophobic bullying, harassment and intolerance in synagogues, schools, institutions and communities.
The recent spasm of violence and inflammatory rhetoric against gays and lesbians should concern all Americans. From the suicide of a hounded Rutgers University student, to the unforgivably brutal attacks on gay men in the Bronx, the headlines have been chilling. When a major party candidate for governor of the nation’s third-largest state can say the sort of things that the GOP’s Carl Paladino said in New York and think he can get away with it - well, that’s just one indication of how (...)
Michael Hopkins, former DC JCC director, heads retreat programs
by Johanna Ginsberg
NJJN Staff Writer
November 3, 2010
Michael Hopkins, former executive director of JCC MetroWest, has taken the helm of Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality.
A national organization headquartered in New York City, its mission is to offer programming, mostly in the form of retreats, designed to empower gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people to explore their Jewish and gay identities and then (...)
Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner Newsletter
These past months have seen a great deal of public and Jewish discussion on LGBT issues. There have been political struggles around ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and Proposition 8, controversy over the publication of a gay wedding announcement in the New Jersey Jewish Standard, and, tragically, a recent spate of suicides by young men. With the help of some fantastic content-sharing with organizations such as (...)
On Tuesday November 30th, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary celebrated the ordination of three Rabbis, preceded by a panel discussion on Rabbinical challenges in the 21st century. Participants were greeted at the entrance by Conservative/Masorti members of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, who handed out rainbow stickers with the title “Ordination for All”.
Until a 2006 decision by the Rabbinical Assembly Law Committee, many in the Conservative Jewish community (...)
Avi Smolen Justin Rosen, left, and Avi Smolen caused a stir among Orthodox Jews when their wedding announcement was published in The New Jersey Jewish Standard.
A young couple, who grew up in Conservative Jewish congregations, who met at a Jewish day camp and whose lives have been dominated by Jewish interests, sent a wedding announcement to The New Jersey Jewish Standard.
It said that Avichai Smolen, 23, and Justin Rosen, 24, planned to be married this month by Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg at (...)
By Cara Hogan Advocate Staff
August 5, 2010
Matt Feczko has a dream of his future life.
“I want to walk to an Orthodox synagogue with my husband on Shabbos and feel comfortable,” said Feczko. “I want to send my kids to Maimonides or any other day school.”
The 23-year-old Cambridge resident sees reason for hope in a joint letter released last month by 90 Orthodox rabbis.
Called a “Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our (...)
By Evan Pondel
TEL AVIV, Israel - At an age when most people are welcoming their first grandchildren into the world, Avishay Greenfield, 59, gets little sleep as a father of twin babies.
For Greenfield, it is a dream come true after waiting several decades to have children with his partner. But this later-in-life scenario isn’t only a function of family dynamics and finances. In the last several years, the coming of age for gay rights in Israel has encouraged a growing number of same-sex (...)
Israel’s alternative families are demanding more formal consideration from the education system.
By Tamar Rotem
When Sefi and Tali Rachlin-Paz’s son Yotam started going to kindergarten, near their home in South Tel Aviv’s Shapira neighborhood, both his parents came to talk with the teacher. "We told the usual story we tell to people we’ve just met, especially in the education system," explained Shefi Paz, a book designer. "We tell them Yotam was raised in a family with two mothers and he (...)
Rabbi Lisa Edwards
Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC)
Two steps forward, one step back is still one step forward. Today’s ruling is one BIG step forward as Federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled on what so many American Jews have understood for years already:
The United States constitution was created to give and protect rights, not take them away.
The 44 gay and lesbian couples at whose weddings I officiated in 2008, as well as my wife and I, know on a daily basis what Judge Walker ruled today: the (...)
By Rabbi Gartenberg’s
I applaud the decision made by Federal Judge, Vaughn Walker, to overturn Proposition 8 on constitutional grounds. He ruled that same-sex marriage violated the 14th Amendment’s rights to equal protection and due process of law. In his decision he quoted precedent: "Fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote." I recommend that my readers take some time to read the decision which was carefully reasoned and researched and brings up to date what we now know (...)
by Jessica Pauline Ogilvie
The Jewish Journal
As a child, Reuben Zellman found life anything but cut-and-dry. “I’ve always had a complicated gender identity,” he said. “As a kid, I liked both boys’ and girls’ clothes, and both boys’ and girls’ toys.”
At 20, Reuben - who grew up as Claire - made the decision to begin living life as a man. “That’s what was right for me,” he said simply, declining to elaborate on his personal history.
Several years later, he (...)
Jess sits down with Judy Gold to talk about finding her niche as a Jewish lesbian comedian, working on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, the R Family Cruises, meeting her girlfriend through a Time Out New York singles ad, making it in the notorious boys club of comedy, starring Off Broadway in Love, Loss & What I Wore and her brand new one-woman show.
By Dan Friedman for the Jewish Forward
Published February 03, 2010, issue of February 12, 2010.
Angelina Jolie may have changed the public face of adoption, but she hasn’t changed the nature of adoption itself. Growing up knowing that the people who biologically made you gave you away is inescapably haunting.
Every Lining Has a Little Cloud: Avery Klein-Cloud takes flight from her growing pains.
For many adoptees, this strange dislocation remains deep in the background. Few outward signs (...)
A month-long festival taking place throughout the Bay Area during April 2010, Out In Israel showcases some of the best of Israeli LGBT cultural creation: art, literature, film, drama, food, dance, progressive thought and intellectual debate. The celebration includes a Hebrew language LGBT film series, theatrical and musical performances by prominent Israeli artists, cooking demonstrations, art exhibitions, literary readings, and panels discussions on LGBT culture in Israel and Zionist (...)
By Nathan Jeffay
Published March 31, 2010, issue of April 09, 2010.
TEL AVIV - A gay couple from Tel Aviv has petitioned Israel’s high court for the right to have a baby through a surrogate mother, an option now open only to heterosexual couples. The request by Tel Aviv spouses Etai Pinkas and Yoav Arad comes as the gay community in Israel is experiencing a small-scale baby boom.
In February some 2,000 people attended the four-day inaugural conference of Keshet (Rainbow) Families (...)
I began my mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces in the summer of 1994, just a year after the government decided that gays could serve openly in the military. At the time, I had not yet solidified my sexual orientation, having had encounters with both men and women. I was generally confused.
One thing I did know was that I wanted to join an infantry unit and also serve as a paratrooper-like a "real man." Basic training was grueling, with sleepless nights, agonizing exercises, and (...)
BY MIKE BOONE, THE GAZETTE
FEBRUARY 22, 2010
Here’s one for psychologists to ponder: How many gay men are the sons of ritual slaughterers?
David Brody’s father was a shoichet, a butcher who rendered animals kosher by killing them in the manner specified by Jewish dietary laws.
Brody has never killed anything, although he may have taken liberties with an idiom or two. Born in London and educated at Edinburgh University, where he studied French, Brody, 69, is a translator.
He has also (...)
Friday, December 25, 2009
On Tuesday, four gay Orthodox men spoke at Yeshiva University, sharing their stories and answering questions. (Unofficial transcript, with names changed.) [http://curiousjew.blogspot.com/2009/12/being-gay-in-orthodox-world.html]
That this event took place is a step in the right direction, of course. Some elements within modern Orthodoxy are pushing hard to spread a message of tolerance and sensitivity. I commend them for that. But they’ve already stretched the (...)
A curious and moving tale of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi coming out in Israel and his attempts to normalise his fellow gay colleagues.
Watch the video
Dec. 24, 2009 - E.B. SOLOMONT, jerusalem post correspondent in new york , THE JERUSALEM POST
For a candid conversation about homosexuality to take place at a New York City university might be commonplace. Certainly, it would be expected at any one of the liberal campuses around town.
But at Yeshiva University, a school considerably more conservative than its neighbors?
Thrust into the thick of a debate over homosexuality and Orthodox Judaism in recent weeks, the school did just that on (...)
Dec. 17, 2009 - ANDREW SACKS , THE JERUSALEM POST
As I was growing up I knew no gay people. At least I was not aware of anyone around me who was gay. This was true concerning my classmates in high school, college and even in rabbinical school. The idea of a gay Torah scholar or a lesbian rabbi was not a part of the discussion of the times. This was not so much because there was an "anti" in the air. It was more because such a thing had never occurred to anybody I knew. If it did, it may (...)
Nov. 8, 2009 - YONATAN GHER , THE JERUSALEM POST
Dear brother, dear sister,
My aim in writing this letter is to take advantage of the hideous acts of violence Ya’acov Teitel is accused of to create dialogue, and to understand each other better.
I’d like to begin by introducing myself: I’m Yonatan. Thirty-one years old, I grew up in Jerusalem in a family that is part secular, part Conservative and part Orthodox.
Today I live in Jerusalem with my partner, and he and I are raising our son, (...)
By Michael Kaminer
A former executive of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is about to shake up the world of refugee aid. Longtime refugee advocate, Neil Grungras, founded the Organization for Refuge, Asylum, & Migration last January and it is on the verge of launching a historic global survey about prevailing attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender migrants.
Starting in January 2010, ORAM will query more than 100 NGOs worldwide about their protocols for helping gay and (...)
Yesterday, the New York Senate voted 38-24 to reject a bill that would have permitted gay marriage in the state. A group of upstate Orthodox Jews were among the bill’s loudest opponents; following the vote, the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America praised the outcome. But there are two sides to the story of where Jews and Jewish institutions stood on the issue. Reform Jewish Voice of New York State’s comment struck a different tone: “This backward step is a deeply (...)
Nir Katz, who worked at gay community center in Tel Aviv, receives ACRI award together with Yesh Din
Mazuz instructs Health Ministry to allow egg donation from one woman to her partner, as long as donation does not violate public regulations
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz instructed the Health Ministry not to prohibit or restrict egg donation from one woman to her partner unless the circumstances contradict public regulations, such as cases where there is concern that the donation is a made out of exploitation or for egg trafficking.
Mazuz called the meeting following (...)
Uncertain Territory: Conservative Judaism’s Pioneering Gay Rabbinical Students Tread Carefully In Israel
When the first openly gay rabbinic students came through the doors of Conservative Judaism’s Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007, there remained in the back of everyone’s mind one sensitive, still-unresolved issue:
What would happen when they went to Israel?
All understood that their curriculum, like that of all JTS rabbinic students, would include a third year spent abroad in Jerusalem, where the Conservative movement has so far refused to ordain gay rabbis.
Now, Ian Chesir-Teran and Aaron (...)
In an historic meeting last week talks took place between Jewish community leaders and Jewish members of the LGBT community.
Members of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) met with GLBT members of the Jewish community last Thursday to discuss inclusion, acceptance and visibility of GLBT Jews in the JCCV.
However, Michael Barnett coordinator from social and support group for GLBT Jews, Aleph Melbourne, told MCV the discussion became volatile.
“I found it a very hostile (...)
By SHRUTI MATHUR DESAI • Courier-Post Staff • December 9, 2009
Baruch Mishaneh Habriot. Blessed is he who makes the creation different from one another.
This was the theme of a keynote speech about being a welcoming, inclusive synagogue at the biennial convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism held this week at the Crowne Plaza.
The very definition of Conservative Judaism includes a line about balancing tradition and modernity, but the reality of being (...)
It may not mean a lot in the overall scheme of things on Capitol Hill, but it means a lot to Jewish groups involved in the fight: Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox group that often takes conservative positions on social issues, has endorsed the hate crimes bill awaiting Senate approval.
In a statement, Rabbi Abba Cohen, the group’s Washington director and counsel, said hate crimes are “personal and all-too-familiar” to the Jewish community. “Orthodox Jews, in (...)
by rachel freedenberg
Slightly overlapping with Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), October is GLBT History Month, coinciding with National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
Every year the GLBT History Month website picks 31 gay icons to commemorate with a video and text biography, resources and downloads. This year, a couple Jewish icons are being noted:
• Magnus Hirschfeld (Oct. 9), a German-born doctor and major gay rights activist who was called "The Einstein of (...)
I continue, despite nearly 22 years of living in Israel, to be flabbergasted at the (select any of the following adjectives) stupidity, naivete, incompetence, ignorance and close-mindedness of our Knesset members.
Yesterday I attended a meeting of the Knesset Law Committee where a bill to legalize civil unions was discussed. Such unions would grant couples most rights enjoyed by married couples.
Many countries have such a law. In some, it allows couples to choose this path rather than a (...)
Sex sells. And in Jerusalem, with its large religious population, a session on if Jewish Orthodoxy can come to terms with sexual activity - both in and out of marriage - drew an overflow crowd at the recent Gateways Festival of Jewish Learning and Culture.
The festival is a remarkable event: two days of pluralistic learning throughout the city, with sessions ranging from “The Mystery of the Mikveh” to analyzing how Israelis relate to God through pop music.
The session on (...)
Oct. 11, 2009
Aron friedman , THE JERUSALEM POST
In the eyes of Israelis, Tel Aviv may be a liberal and gay-friendly city, but a new survey of gays from abroad found Tel Aviv unsafe, intolerant and too religious.
The survey results were released on Sunday to a group of gay tourism professionals, as part of the International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association annual conference and symposium being held in Tel Aviv.
Tourism professionals specializing in the gay and lesbian market are in (...)
By Michael Kaminer
Published September 16, 2009, issue of September 25, 2009.
In any other office, this wouldn’t seem remarkable. But this is the midtown Manhattan headquarters of Lucas Entertainment, one of the largest gay adult film companies in the world.
The yarmulke - worn in memory of a recently departed grandmother, it turns out - seems weirdly apt once you meet Michael Lucas, the 37-year-old founder and CEO of the 11-year-old porn conglomerate, which in August released what it (...)
We are rather obsessive timekeepers, us Jews. There are exact times when one can recite the various daily prayers and when the Sabbath and holidays begin and end. Our tradition has dates that celebrate particular moments of our collective memory, each with a different emotional charge: joyous, fearsome, triumphant, broken, liberating, majestic, playful and audacious.
While the first historians were Greek, sacred history was the invention of the Jews. There are surely holy places and (...)
Installing Tobaron Waxman’s Opshernish has been a multiday affair. The original work was a hair-cutting and shaving performance staged in 2000 over several months. The performance referenced the ritual first haircut for Orthodox boys when they turn three in order to ask how gender constructs identity. The artist saved all the hair from the performance, and has kept it in a crate until this summer, when it was shipped to The Jewish Museum for reinstallation. A conservator prepped the long (...)
Think some things you hear from American right wing Christian groups are loony? Well, we Jews are very proud of our own right wing lunatic fringe as well.
According to the Israeli newspaper HaAretz, one Orthodox Jewish group in Israel has ruled that gay men can marry a woman and still have a male partner.
But there are conditions.
The gay husband can acknowledge he is gay and marry a woman with the understanding that he is not physically attracted to her whatsoever. Any children they have (...)
Gay couple will celebrate their commitment to each other next year in Conservative synagogue
By Benjamin Weiner
Not all the passions stirred up by Jewish prayer books are directed toward God. The new “Koren Siddur” (Koren Publishers Jerusalem) is a good example. Endorsed by the Orthodox Union and bearing the translations and commentary of Sir Jonathan Sacks, British Chief Rabbi, it has energized Modern Orthodox Jews seeking to assert their worldview, not just religious opinion. Overtly Zionist, relatively feminist and aesthetically elegant, Koren/Sacks is for them a (...)
By JONATHAN ROSENBLUM
Haredim think that the media show a persistent and blatant bias in their coverage of the community. And they are right. For proof one need look no further than the coverage of the grisly August 1 attack on a counseling center for teenage homosexuals in Tel Aviv, which left two dead and more than a dozen others wounded, three critically.
A haredi man passes posters in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood announcing a protest against the gay pride parade planned in the (...)
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
Less than a month after a murderous attack at a center for gay youth rejuvenated dialogue about tolerance in Israeli society, a recent poll published over the weekend indicated that nearly half of all Israelis are "ready for a gay prime minister."
Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot published an article Friday in which 25% of those asked said that they were certain that they were ready for a gay minister, and 19% said that they thought that they were ready.
Sep. 3, 2009 - Sam Ser , THE JERUSALEM POST
Lizzy sure has a big mouth. And it’s dirty, too. Most of what she says can’t be reprinted here - but on YouTube, where Lizzy reigns supreme as the only animated lesbian stand-up comedienne hailing from Israel, the innocent-looking little cartoon character lets her potty mouth fly.
Viewers, couldn’t you guess, love it.
"Lizzy is one of the funniest modern cartoons out there," one enamored fan wrote in response to one of the dozens of Lizzy the (...)
By Noah Kosharek and Yuval Goren
A month after a masked gunman stormed a Tel Aviv gay youth center and killed two people, hundreds gathered at the city’s official pride center to mourn their deaths and condemn the hatred.
The perpetrator of the attack that killed Nir Katz, 26, and Liz Trobishi, 16, has still not been found. Thirteen other people were wounded in the incident, before the gunman fled the scene.
Some of those victims came to the memorial in Meir Park on Saturday night, and (...)
Founded in 2001, the Religious Institute is a multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society. The Religious Institute has emerged as the national leadership organization working at the intersection of religion and sexuality issues. Our staff provide clergy, congregations and denominational bodies with technical assistance on addressing sexuality and reproductive issues, and assist sexual and reproductive health (...)
By Anshel Pfeffer
The impending halakhic ruling to allow religious gay men to marry women and have children while not forcing them to keep their homosexuality a secret may seem like a rare sign of liberalism in the Orthodox establishment. On the other hand, it may paradoxically be a reinforcement of the wall of halakha.
The initiative was unveiled by Rabbi Menachem Burstein, head of the Jewish fertility organization Puah Institute, at a conference titled "Parenthood at any cost?" at the (...)
By Uri Blau
Under the headline, "Put the club’s directors on trial for the murder!" the ultra-Orthodox Web site Tsofar last week published a piece about the shooting attack at a gay and lesbian community center in Tel Aviv last month.
It complained about "the acts that were committed against minors between the walls of this club for the depraved" and pointed an accusatory finger at the club and its directors, as evidenced by the headline.
The article was signed by author Yisrael Artzi (...)
by Maayana Miskin
(IsraelNN.com) Activists and politicians from across the religious spectrum have denounced Saturday night’s murderous shooting at a center for members of the homosexual community in Tel Aviv. Two people were killed in the attack and ten remain hospitalized, some with life-threatening wounds.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the killer would be found and brought to justice. “I want to take this opportunity to remind all citizens of Israel that we are a (...)
A New Anthology Explores What the Torah Has To Say
By Rachel Barenblat
Published July 29, 2009, issue of August 07, 2009
The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism
Edited By Danya Ruttenberg
New York University Press, 320 pages, $19.95.
Jewish attitudes about sex and sexuality span a wide spectrum. For liberal Jews, sex and religion may seem unrelated; for those who follow the family-purity laws, the relationship between sex and Jewish tradition may seem set in stone. But neither of these (...)
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of the ruling Fatah movement in the West Bank, is threatening a "suitable" response to its inclusion in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy, "Bruno."
According to World Net Daily, the controversy erupted after Ayman Abu Aita said he was falsely portrayed in the film as a member of the al-Aqsa-Martyrs’ Brigades during an interview in the film by Cohen’s homosexual alter-ego who posed as a journalist.
Separately, the group denounced Cohen’s "dirty use" (...)
By Nathan Guttman
Published July 22, 2009, issue of July 31, 2009.
Washington - Twelve years of activism by Jewish groups is nearing an end as Congress prepares to approve legislation that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include actions based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender or disability.
Jewish groups have been front and center in lobbying for the inclusion of these categories in the existing law, which already defines as hate crimes those that are committed on the (...)
By Joshua Mitnick · August 4, 2009
TEL AVIV (NEW YORK JEWISH WEEK) -- Amid beefed-up security outside a gay community center where two young Israelis were shot and killed, the shock that greeted the attack was replaced by sobriety -- and even a sense of opportunity.
Gay Israelis said the murders on Saturday night, in which a masked gunman not only killed two but wounded about a dozen others before fleeing -- robbed them of a sense of security in Tel Aviv’s otherwise gay-friendly cocoon.
By Gal Uchovsky
Published August 05, 2009.
The Youth Bar on Nachmani Street is a special place. Every Saturday night, gay teenagers gather in this residential apartment in the heart of Tel Aviv. The apartment, which was willed to the gay community by a local gay activist, has been a spot for gay teenagers to find companionship and support in a safe, clean, alcohol-free environment, under the careful and caring supervision of an adult counselor.
The Youth Bar is part of the activities of the (...)
by Ed Walsh
About 100 people turned out in San Francisco Monday evening for a vigil and rally in support those who were killed and wounded over the weekend during a shooting at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv.
The shooting suspect is still at large, and Israel’s leaders have denounced the incident as a hate crime.
August 1 had been a typical hot summer day in Tel Aviv. It was Saturday, the Sabbath. The day most Israelis spend with family. But late on Saturday nights is usually the time to (...)
LGBT vigil held in S.F. for slain Israelis
Carrying flags and drawing supportive honks from passing motorists, San Francisco Jewish and LGBT communities marched in a candlelight vigil Aug. 3 for two young Israelis killed by a gunman in a Tel Aviv LGBT community center.
Approximately 100 people joined the procession, which began at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav on Dolores Street and ended in front of the S.F. LGBT Center at 1800 Market St., where speakers addressed the crowd.
Nir Katz, 26, a (...)
The shooting at the gay youth club Bar-Noar in Tel Aviv, which resulted in the tragic death of 26-year-old Nir Katz and 16-year-old Liz Tarboushi, and the injury of 13 others, is sending political shockwaves across Israel. "This is our Stonewall," said activists in Israel’s gay community this weekend, referring to the defining moment for the gay community in the US, back in 1969.
While everybody involved in gay events always anticipates violence in the religious and conservative Jerusalem - (...)
Aug. 3, 2009
HANNAH FISHER , THE JERUSALEM POST
The family of one of the victims of Saturday’s shooting attack at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv spoke out for the first time since the attack, expressing their shock and outrage at the targeting of innocent Israeli youth, regardless of the motive.
Or Gill, 16, was shot twice in the attack, and while doctors at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv say that hopefully he will be released from hospital within the next couple of days, at the present (...)
The World Union for Progressive Judaism representing over 1.8 million Jews worldwide strongly condemns the senseless attack on the Gay and Lesbian community in Tel Aviv. This mindless act of violence that has resulted in death and serious injury was an attack against all decent people in Israeli society.
It is particularly painful as Israel has been a beacon throughout the world in providing a degree of equality and tolerance for members of the gay and lesbian community. The WUPJ supports (...)
August 4, 2009
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Two Conservative movement umbrella groups said they were "saddened and outraged" by the murders of two Israelis at a Tel Aviv gay center.
The victims in the shooting last Saturday evening may have been targeted because of their sexual orientation. Ten others were injured.
"This cowardly act of terrorism took place against innocent victims in a place of acceptance and support," said the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly (...)
By Jay Michaelson - The JD Forward
Published August 05, 2009, issue of August 14, 2009.
Here is how it happens. First, demagogues use incendiary rhetoric to inflame passions against a group or individual. Next, a “lone gunman” attacks the target(s) of that rhetoric. Then, the same demagogues who fanned the flames in the first place condemn the attack, express shock - shock! - that such a thing could ever have happened.
Most recently, of course, this pattern has (...)
FROM: The Aguda - The National Association of GLBT in Israel
These days the Israeli GLBT community is experiencing its most difficult and sad hour. We have just said a heartbreaking goodbye to two young and lovely people. Whilst an additional group of teenagers are still struggling in hospital for their lives, for there identity, for their spirits and for their future.
The Aguda - The national association of GLBT in Israel - has been active for the past 35 years as a focal point for (...)
Israeli leaders, regardless of political views or religious observance, have united in their condemnation of Saturday’s attack at a gay and lesbian youth center in Tel Aviv.
"This atrocious crime is worthy of every condemnation. The attack on the LGBT activity center has hit one of Israel’s symbols of tolerance and pluralism. This is a crime not only against the gay community, but against the basic values of the Jewis h-Israeli culture, that sanctifies life and appalls acts such as this. (...)
Jerusalem, August 3, 2009 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the violent attack on a Tel Aviv center for gay and lesbian youth, which killed two and wounded fifteen. This apparent hate crime targeted people from the LGBT community and their friends who were gathered for a weekly support group.
ADL’s Israel Office issued the following statement:
We condemn this heinous attack on the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Center and share the urgency of Israel’s (...)
Por Ilan Sheinfeld
Anoche se alzaron banderas gays con un crespón negro por todo el estado de Israel, porque ocurrió lo más terrible de todo. Tres jóvenes fueron asesinados a sangre fría y diez más resultaron heridos por su forma de amar. Los asesinatos no son nada nuevo para el público israelí: un manifestante de izquierdas, Emil Greenzweig, fue asesinado en el año 1983, el presidente de gobierno, Yitzhak Rabin, en el año 1995. Sin embargo, nunca antes se había asesinado a personas tan (...)
August 3, 2009
I am sure you are aware of the tragedy that unfolded Saturday evening here in Tel Aviv. The shooting, the murders, the human pain and suffering has shaken the entire community to its very roots. Our friends, our families, our neighbors, whether, gay or straight, Jewish, Muslim or Arab are horrified and enraged.
All is not clear at this moment as to who is responsible or the reasons why.
It brings to mind the morning of 9/11, no one knew exactly what was (...)
Foreign organizations appalled at Saturday’s killing spree in gay lesbian youth center; quick to offer support, sympathy to Israeli gay community. Open House director says, ’From their point of view violence within Jewish people surprising, horrifying phenomenon’. Foreign media provide wide coverage of incident.
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Two people were killed on Saturday night and several others were wounded when a gunman burst into a gay community center in the heart of Tel Aviv and opened fire with a machine gun.
The bodies of the two fatalities were found in the center by paramedics, while the injured were rushed to the Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) in Tel Aviv. Two victims were listed in critical condition, while three additional people were moderately hurt, Magen David Adom paramedics (...)
By Ilan Sheinfeld
Last night a black ribbon was tied to the flags of pride they flew all over the country. Because this night something happened in Israel. Two young people were murdered in cold blood and another 11 were injured, four of them critically, all because they loved. We’ve already seen the murder of the left-wing activist Emil Grinzweig; they slew a serving prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin; but never before have they killed people, such young people, because of love.
This is a black (...)
Jul 22nd, 2009
by Brian Blum / The Moderate Voice
My nearly sixteen-year-old daughter Merav attended the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade two weeks ago. She had heard about the event, the controversy it had engendered, and thought it would be interesting to see what all the fuss was about.
It’s funny how time tends to curl around and repeat itself. When I was sixteen, I attended my first gay parade, in the heart of San Francisco’s famed Castro District, for many of the same reasons: curiosity, (...)
Aaron Katz es hijo de una pareja que huyó de Polonia antes del Holocausto. Se sumó a un grupo de rabinos que tratan de revivir lo que fuera una comunidad judía.
By FRANCES KRAFT
Thursday, 25 June 2009
TORONTO - The First Narayever Congregation - an unaffiliated, traditional egalitarian synagogue and the largest shul in downtown Toronto - has voted overwhelmingly in favour of its rabbi officiating at same-sex marriages.
Of 175 voters on the same-sex marriage issue, which took place at the congregation’s annual general meeting June 14, 164 people - 93.7 per cent - voted in favour, effective immediately.
No same-sex marriages are currently booked at (...)
In response to Shas chairman’s demand to cancel gay march, Mayor Ron Huldai says parade an example of ’openness that will influence and pave the way for other places in Israel’. Gay activist: Yishai’s comment shame the State
When a predominantly gay synagogue in Manhattan learned that a group of ultra-Evangelical Christians were planning a protest outside their building, the congregation decided to turn the hate rally into a fundraising event.
Parishoners from the Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas-based institution, gathered on Sunday outside Congregation Beth Simchat Torah with signs reading "God hates fags" and "Jews stole the land."
The synagogue heard several days in advance of the church’s planned (...)
June 18, 2009
By Sari Edelstein
Lately, something confusing has started to happen. I’ll find myself at a wedding or an academic conference or a dinner party and I’ll meet a heterosexual who invariably makes reference to his or her “partner,” a term once employed mainly by gays and lesbians to refer to same-sex significant others. Now, in what seems to be the spirit of political correctness, well-intentioned straight people have co-opted the term and made a mess of its former (...)
Posted by Rabbi Andrew Sacks
Let’s begin with the Biblical understanding that humankind was created in the image of God.
Let us add the Rabbinic claim that the whole Torah exists for the sake of peace (Gittin).
Let us be reminded of Reb Nachman’s prayer:
Let there be a truly great peace between every person and their fellow... and let there be no discord between people even in their hearts.
In nearly every city in the free world, we find an annual Gay pride parade. Sadly, there are (...)
June 19, 2009
By Debra Nussbaum Cohen
As a straight, married woman, I often refer to my husband as my partner. Sari, in your recent post on The Sisterhood, you wrote that you’re discomfited by heterosexuals’ use of the term “partner” to refer to their significant other.
I’ve used the term consciously not because I wanted to steal anything semantic from gay folks, but because I was trying to make a subtly intentional point about the nature of our relationship. That is, flouting (...)
by Merri Rosenberg
Special To The Jewish Week
When Linda Barat’s teenage son was confirmed two years ago at Temple Israel of New Rochelle, a Reform congregation, he also confided that he was gay. Barat was disheartened to learn that he wasn’t comfortable at the temple in which he had been raised.
“No one was openly gay,” said Barat, a synagogue trustee. “Robert [her son] needs role models at synagogue. He sees straight marriage, he sees births; I want him to see lifecycle (...)
By Dina Kraft • June 16, 2009
TEL AVIV (JTA) -- The sun was just beginning to sink into the Mediterranean as the couples took their places under the fluttering wedding canopy: three sets of brides and two sets of grooms.
In a nod to Jewish wedding tradition, a member of each couple stepped on a glass to seal the deal. Except in this wedding the centuries-old words that finalize the Jewish marriage contract were uttered with a twist: “If I forget thee, O Tel Aviv, let my right hand (...)
In this June 12, 2009 photo, Rabbi Aaron Katz is seen during a service at the progressive Judaism Synagogue in Warsaw. He is Poland’s first openly and unabashedly gay rabbi. Katz settled in Warsaw with Kevin Gleason, a former Hollywood producer with whom he entered into a registered domestic partnership in Los Angeles two years ago. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
In February the findings of a study of the inclusiveness of American synagogues towards gay and lesbian Jews revealed that most rabbis overestimate how welcoming their synagogues actually are. On Gay Pride weekend I invite my Jewish readers to examine just how welcoming and inclusive towards LGBT Jews their shuls actually are. The preliminary results of the 2009 Synagogue Survey on Diversity and LGBT inclusiveness indicates that shuls have very little to lose and a lot to gain by being (...)
By Rebecca Dreyfus
The summer months are traditionally the season for Gay Pride parades around the world, with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender groups organizing flamboyant and colorful parades through city streets. Here is a look at some of the events of 2009.
See the pics!
By Joal, 1st July, 2009
Gay pride toned itself down in Jerusalem on Thursday, with a slightly subdued mood and an unofficial dress code for participants.
Gay pride in one of the world’s most holy cities has always been a touchy subject. The eighth pride parade to occur in Jerusalem, 2009 was less violent than previous years, but bare chests were frowned upon and anti-pride protesters, though relatively small in number, watched on.
Important to Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths, Jerusalem (...)
Jun 25, 2009
JERUSALEM (AFP) - More than 2,000 people took part in a toned-down Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday that drew only muted protest, in contrast to the violence the event had stirred in the past.
Unlike a flamboyant parade recently held in Tel Aviv, organisers were determined to enforce a dress code that would not draw claims of indecency from the Holy City’s influential religious groups.
Men who doffed their shirts were promptly asked to put it back on.
By MEL BEZALEL
A group of prominent gay opinion-shapers from around the world are to visit Israel to grapple with the country’s sexuality issues on a five-day seminar centering around Tel Aviv’s gay pride parade, scheduled for Friday.
iPride, a project created by international Israel advocacy organization Stand With Us, will begin on Wednesday and focus on showing participants a side to Israel that does not revolve around "conflict" in the traditional military sense.
Instead, the group (...)
By Nathan Jeffay
Published June 17, 2009, issue of June 26, 2009.
Tel Aviv - In stark contrast to the U.S. Army’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuality, the latest edition of the official Israel Defense Force’s magazine B’Machane has a center spread on gay and lesbian officers. A picture shows a new officer getting his stripes, his commander’s hand on one shoulder and his life partner’s hand on the other.
This liberal side of Israeli society is starting to arouse the (...)
The siddur we wrote about last year, published by the gay New York synagogue Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, has arrived. The shul also announced that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will speak at a special service on June 19.
From the CBST news release:
(New York, NY) -- Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST) is proud to publish Siddur B’chol L’vav’cha, (With All Your Heart), a new edition of the community’s long-standing Friday night prayer book. Created for individuals coming from a (...)
Interior Minister Eli Yishai has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai to cancel the city’s upcoming Gay Pride Parade, Channel 10 reported on Wednesday.
The Shas Chairman sent a letter, signed by a number of Tel Aviv rabbis and religious members of Knesset, urging the city to rethink its decision to hold the parade on Friday.
The letter was submitted by attorney Doron Shmueli, and signed by National Union MK Uri Ariel, United Torah Judaism MK Menachem (...)
In response to Shas chairman’s demand to cancel gay march, Mayor Ron Huldai says parade an example of ’openness that will influence and pave the way for other places in Israel’. Gay activist: Yishai’s comment shame the State
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai stressed Thursday that he would not let any outsiders break the city’s tradition of holding an annual Pride Parade. He said this in response to Shas Chairman Eli Yishai’s demands to have the parade, scheduled for Friday, cancelled. (...)
By STEPHANIE RUBENSTEIN
Citing the "ongoing struggle" homosexuals face in areas outside of Tel Aviv, Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, the second openly gay elected Knesset member, was one of several speakers who met with 50 people at the Gay Community Center in Tel Aviv on Thursday to discuss the role and envolvement of gay rights and activism in Israel as part of the five-day program iPride, culminating in Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Parade next Friday.
Thousands meet in central Tel Aviv for major event culminating with same-sex marriage ceremony at Gordon Beach. Proud parents rally to support their gay children, as rightists protesting against parade carry signs saying ’Animal parade’
Pride Parade events kicked off under heavy security outside the gay community center in central Tel Aviv’s Gan Meir park on Friday.
Participants visited various stands representing organizations in the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community.
By David Winks Gray
Sneaking through a hole in the border fence between Israel and Palestine may seem like a high-risk way to have a nightlife, but for Boody, a young man living in Palestine, it’s the only way to get to Shushan, Jerusalem’s lone gay bar. City of Borders, the debut film by Bay Area filmmaker Yun Suh, follows several characters who have found a second home at the bar. The film testifies to the intolerance that members of the LGBTQ community face in addition to all of the (...)
Party favors, bearing the motto ’come and visit Israel’, meant to promote Tel Aviv-based travel package
British travel agents were recently shocked to receive boxes of condoms handed out as part of a campaign to promote travel to Israel, during an event hosted by the Tourism Ministry in London.
The event, attended by representatives of the El-Al Airline, various Tel Aviv hotels and the Tel Aviv tourism foundation, as well as several British travel agents, was hosted with the (...)
Livni, Clinton voice support for gay community in Israel and U.S.
By Natasha Mozgovaya
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni and United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, each in their respective country, voiced their support for the gay community Monday ahead of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month to be marked throughout June.
"The right to love is granted to anyone," Livni said in an event held at the gay community’s municipal center in Tel Aviv’s Meir Park.
"I can only imagine what a young (...)
Fourth international festival to kick off on June 23, include screenings of 50 feature films, 70 short films
By Merav Yudilovitch
The 4th Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, TLVFest, will kick off on June 23 with a festive screening of the movie "Strella" by Greek director Panos H. Koutras, which had its world premiere at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.
The screening of the movie, which follows the complicated relationship between an ex convict and a transgender (...)
If there is one group that well understands oppression, it’s the gay community.
So understanding is it of the need for diversity that, according to Pride Toronto, it is the "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer, questioning and two-spirited" community.
LGBTTIQQ2S for short.
After attending 14 Pride parades - not in any official capacity but certainly in a drunken one - I have seen all kinds of groups participate. Some carry banners identifying (...)
By Jay Michaelson
Published June 03, 2009, issue of June 12, 2009.
In the next few weeks, gay and lesbian synagogues and Jewish organizations will be marching in New York, San Francisco and other cities around the country as part of gay pride parades. But many of the people marching won’t be gay themselves: More and more “gay” or GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) synagogues have significant percentages of “straight allies” among their membership - in some (...)
by Ethan Jacobs
Thursday Mar 13, 2008
It’s Friday night at the Bell in Hand Tavern and something is amiss.
At first glance all appears normal: guys wearing button-ups or
T-shirts and ladies decked out in jeans and tight tops, everyone
drinking, flirting, and casually nodding to the top-40 music. But by
nine o’clock it’s clear that something is a bit off. As more people
pour through the front door there’s a disturbance in The Force: an
overabundance of men and a growing shortage (...)
New clinic to open in gay center, doctors to undergo special training
5.29.09, 12:49 / Israel Culture
The Clalit HMO will be opening a new clinic at the beginning of June at the gay center in Tel Aviv’s Park Meir. Doctors at the clinic will undergo special training in order to enable them to better deal with the needs of the local gay community.
The new clinic is a joint initiative by gay center Chairman Itay Pinkas, Clalit’s Tel Aviv District, and Doctor Eitan Haim.
The gay (...)
By Ron Kampeas · May 27, 2009
I have covered, from time to time, gay marriage and its implications while at the same time supporting it. I hope the little reporting I’ve done has been above reproach; it’s foolish to believe that reporters don’t have opinions. As an official of the union that represented AP employees I played a small part in bringing about the extension of benefits to domestic partners; of course I had an opinion. That didn’t preclude conveying the other side’s views. If we (...)
By Eric Fingerhut · May 26, 2009
A number of Jewish groups are expressing disappointment with the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8 in California, which bars marriage between same sex couples, while Orthodox organizations are praising the ruling. Some excerpts from their press releases:
The Anti-Defamation League, which joined an amicus brief arguing that Proposition 8 represents a revision to the State Constitution, rather than an amendment, and as such requires (...)
May 26, 2009
By Robin Podolsky
While voting to keep intact the marriages of approximately 18,000 Californians, including many Jewish couples, the California Supreme Court voted today to uphold Proposition 8, an initiative that amended California’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Another chapter in the longer story of same-gender marriage in California has ended, and yet another is already beginning. Here in Los Angeles County, demonstrations against the ban are already underway in (...)
by Dan Pine, staff writer, J-Weekly.com
Dropping her daughter off at school on the morning of May 26, Rabbi Camille Angel turned to the first-grader and said, “I’m not picking you up today. I’m going to get arrested.”
A few hours later, that’s exactly what happened when Angel was arrested along with some 160 others, including 30 religious leaders, in front of the California Supreme Court at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco. They were protesting the court’s decision to uphold (...)
By Jordana Horn
Published May 21, 2009.
Ivri Lider is an Israeli rock star whose fame is beginning to extend beyond the boundaries of his landsmen and language. Lider, who is openly gay, was catapulted into international consciousness with his 2009 cover of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl.” The video of the that cover has since ricocheted around the world on YouTube. Lider is now finishing up his first English-language album. Jordana Horn spoke with him on the eve of his upcoming (...)
by Ted Merwin
Special To The Jewish Week
Is it possible to care as deeply about total strangers as about those who are near and dear to us? In Dan Fishback’s new play, "You Will Experience Silence," directed by Stephen Brackett, a gay teenage Judah Maccabee (played by the playwright himself) visits a new Hellenistic gymnasium with his friend, Ezra (Max Steele). When a Greek soldier (Joseph Keckler) takes a shine to them, Judah must decide if his own sexual satisfaction takes precedence over (...)
There was a nice story on NPR about California’s upcoming same sex marriage ruling. The piece includes a brief interview with Rabbi Lisa Edwards of BCC, Member of the World Congress of GLBT Jews. "I don’t look forward to being in a specialized category of this little island of 18,000 whose marriages may be allowed to stand," Edward says. "It’s a difficult place to put us in with regard to our friends and peers."
Marcher attacked by youths while store on parade route puts up sign reading: ’No gays allowed’
05.15.09, 21:40 / Israel News
A group of youths attacked a 34-year old man at Eilat’s annual Gay Pride Parade Friday, attended by about 3,500 people. The man, a resident of Eilat, teaches boys who are at risk due to their sexual tendencies.
Protestors of the march also threw eggs at the participants, and one minimarket located on the parade’s route hung a sign on its door saying, "No (...)
Nitzan Horowitz says Arab nations should sign treaty banning persecution of homosexuals
Group of athletes and artists to travel to Copenhagen for 2009 Wolrd Outgames with financial help of Foreign Ministry, which seeks to ’show world Israel’s ’liberal, diverse face’
The New Republic, 06.05.2009
Politico notes that two of the people whose names are being tossed around as Supreme Court possibilities are lesbians: Kathleen Sullivan and Pam Karlan, both of Stanford Law School. (For more about Karlan, see this impassioned endorsement from Bill Stuntz, who has written some terrific pieces for TNR over the years.) Obviously, putting a lesbian on the court (or a gay man, for that matter, although none appear to be under consideration) would mark a wonderful (...)
By Cnaan Liphshiz, May 8th 2009
Gay activists in Israel and Canada have sharply criticized a prominent director from Toronto for boycotting Israel’s upcoming gay film festival, while pursuing plans to screen films in Ramallah.
John Greyson, a leading filmmaker of gay-themed cinema, had verbally accepted an invitation to premier one of his films in June at the Tel Aviv International LGBT film festival, organized by TLVFest.
Last month, Greyson sent organizers a cancellation letter saying (...)
By Noah Kosharek
The 11th annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade this summer will feature an event organizers believe to be the first ever for such an event anywhere in the world and certainly in Israel - two weddings, one of a gay couple and one of a lesbian pair.
A campaign will be launched on the Web site gogay.co.il seeking couples interested in being wed as part of the event to submit their candidacy.
A committee at the city’s gay community center will determine which two couples will (...)
By David Hawley | Friday, April 17, 2009
Who is Tony Kushner, and why is the Guthrie Theater devoting two months to a "celebration" of him?
We’re about to find out.
The "celebration," which kicks off Saturday with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak declaring "Tony Kushner Day," includes Kushner plays on all three Guthrie stages - plus a plethora of seminars, classes and workshops and two "Extreme Kushner Weekends" that involve marathon theater packages and additional Kushner-related events.
By Rebecca Spence
Published April 15, 2009, issue of April 24, 2009.
LOS ANGELES - When Denise Eger assumes the leadership of this region’s local rabbinic association, she’ll be making history - twice over.
On May 11, Eger will become not only the first woman to lead the Board of Rabbis of Southern California - one of the nation’s largest rabbinic boards - but also the board’s first openly gay or lesbian president.
Eger, 49, serves as the rabbi of West Hollywood’s gay-and-lesbian-oriented (...)
Bar Refaeli Pics and Israeli Models Gallery - Photos of Actresses from
Israel - Esquire
All of a sudden, Israel is producing more than its share ofspectacularly beautiful models and actresses. In honor of SI’s selection this week of Bar Refaeli for its swimsuit cover, we offer a visual guide (with trivia!).
Find more here
By DAVID BENKOF
The results of a recent gay-rights lawsuit endanger the continued survival of a number of vital dating and marriage Web sites that serve the Orthodox community. These include:
• SawYouAtSinai.com, a religious dating Web site that uses matchmakers to arrange dates. The name comes from the midrash that says that all of us met our besherts (intended spouses) at Mt. Sinai when God gave the Torah, and getting married is just a reunion. In less than five years, SawYouAtSinai has (...)
By Nathan Burstein
Published April 08, 2009, issue of April 17, 2009.
‘American Idol” and its Israeli counterpart have both added a female judge for their 2009 seasons, but there’s one major difference: The Israeli judge used to be a man.
Transsexual pop star Dana International has joined the panel of experts for the seventh season of “Kochav Nolad” (“A Star Is Born”), the Israeli version of the smash TV singing contest. Born Yaron Cohen, the singer will (...)
by Jen Colletta 25 May-2009
The University of Pennsylvania will play host next weekend to a conference that seeks to fuse the basic tenets of Judaism and LGBT life, as well as the individuals who identify with both communities.
The National Union of Jewish LGBTQQI Students will hold its annual conference at Penn April 3-5, the first time the organization has staged its event in Philadelphia.
Vanessa “Vinny” Prell, the organization’s executive director, said the group, which was (...)
By Eric Fingerhut · March 31, 2009
Is it the first step in forging a possible compromise on one of the most divisive social issues of the day, or merely an intriguing idea that won’t break the impasse?
Judging from the reaction of Jewish groups to a proposal that would recognize same-sex civil unions while carving out an exemption for religious organizations, it’s not yet clear. Some said the proposal might ease the tension between supporters and opponents of gay rights; (...)
Shammai Engelmayer • Columns
Published: 20 March 2009
Leave it to California. The world capital of weird finally hit on an idea the rest of the country should imitate (and this column first promoted in January 2004): to take the state out of the “marriage” business.
The proposal, now looking for a spot on the next Election Day ballot, is known as “the Domestic Partnership Initiative.” If it makes it onto the ballot and passes, “state law [would] be changed to (...)
Issue date: 2/6/09 Section: Kol HaMevaser
ditor’s note: This article was submitted anonymously to protect the student’s identity and allow him to discuss the topic openly.
I wake up to a buzzing alarm clock signaling the arrival of another day and head out to daven. I concentrate as hard as I can and ask Hashem for help to face another day. I am the typical YU student. I go to morning seder, lunch, shiur, and then my secular classes. I am still the typical YU student. (...)
by Heather Tirado Gilligan
Charlie Spiegel accepts his Fammy Award at JFCS’ 25th annual gala. Photo: Drew Altizer
Gay adoption lawyer Charlie Spiegel was honored for his 20 years of service to LGBT families at the Jewish Family and Children Service’s 25th annual gala and fundraiser March 7. Spiegel’s work was recognized with a Fammy Award from the agency, which also helped him adopt his own daughter in 1997.
Spiegel has volunteered with Adoption Connection at the JFCS since he adopted his (...)
The Jewish Daily Forward - By Rebecca Spence -
Published March 18, 2009, issue of March 27, 2009.
LOS ANGELES - As the cultural divide over gay marriage deepens, two public intellectuals on opposite sides of the debate are floating a new proposal that could bridge the gap between religious conservatives - including Orthodox Jewish groups - and advocates for same-sex marriage.
The compromise, proposed by Jonathan Rauch and David Blankenhorn, would grant federal civil union status to (...)
03.18.09, 10:42 / Israel Jewish Scene
Jerusalem art gallery presents Israel’s first-ever exhibit of works by homosexual religious artists. For the first time in Israel, 14 gay religious artists belonging to the Orthodox community will present their work at an art exhibit.
The art show, titled “Yots’im me’aron ha’kodesh” (a play on words in Hebrew literally meaning “getting out of the holy ark” but also hinting at “getting out of the (...)
By Tomer Zarchin - Haaretz.com
The National Insurance Institute authorized Israel’s first-ever "maternity" leave for a male couple on Thursday. Yonatan Gher, director of Jerusalem’s nonprofit Open House Pride and Tolerance organization, has received institute approval of a 64-day leave from work on the occasion of the birth of his biological son, born of a surrogate mother in India. His partner of seven years commenced formal adoption procedures, so that the child will be formally (...)
By E.B. Solomont · March 12, 2009
NEW YORK (JTA) -- The newsletter sent out last month by Temple Israel of New Rochelle contained the usual sort of announcements, including a reminder about the synagogue’s upcoming Purim carnival, mazal tovs and condolences, and information about a social event at a local steakhouse.
But a small notice about a screening of the film “Hineini: Coming Out In a Jewish High School” reflected a quiet change at the Reform synagogue in suburban New (...)
By Danny Sadeh
Published: 03.13.09, 12:46 / Israel Travel
International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association to hold annual symposium in Israel, with some 200 travel agents coming from around the world to market Tel Aviv to members of the gay community. Israel participates for first time in association’s booth at Berlin tourism fair
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association will, for the first time ever, hold its annual symposium in Tel Aviv this October. The event is expected to (...)
Mar. 10, 2009
Rebecca Anna Stoil , THE JERUSALEM POST
Fourteen years after arriving at his foster parents’ home, the Ramat Gan Family Court ruled Tuesday morning that Yosi Even-Kama, now 30 years-old can be adopted by his foster parents, a homosexual couple.
As a result of Family Court Judge Alissa Miller’s decision to recognize Professor Uzi Even and Dr. Amit Kama as Yosi’s parents, they will now have the same rights as biological parents of any child. In order for the adoption to be (...)
Religious students protest Haifa’s Institute of Technology’s decision to allow homosexuals to live in dorms designed for married couples
Eitan Glickman 03.06.09, 11:37 / Israel Jewish Scene
The study routine at the Technion, Haifa’s Institute of Technology, has been disrupted in recent days over a decision allowing homosexual and lesbian couples to live in dorms designed for married couples.
Following the decision, the Technion’s rabbi demanded that demanded that the mezuzot (piece of (...)
by Will O’Bryan
Published on January 22, 2009 - METRO WEEKLY Washington DC
Find something cute to wear. Pick a place to go. Make sure your teeth are clean and you smell wonderful. Get a haircut. When you think about it, there’s an awful lot that can go into making a good impression on a first date. So why waste all that effort on just one person? If you’re Jewish by any definition, or just enjoy Jewish culture, you’re in luck.
On Saturday, Jan. 31, the D.C. Jewish Community Center’s (...)
By Akin Ajayi, The Forward - March 2009
During a recent interview with the Forward, the Jerusalem-born director and activist Avigail Sperber described her new film, "Halakeh," as a "small story... through which one can understand the place of a woman in Jewish religious culture."
Starring the Israeli actors Ohad Knoller and Hani Furstenberg, "Halakeh" documents the emotional journey of a young observant couple, as they travel to Mount Meron to participate in the halakeh ceremony - the (...)
New York Times - February 20, 2009, 5:15 PM
By SEWELL CHAN
Long before Harvey Milk became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, before he established himself as a civil rights leader in San Francisco, and before he was assassinated in 1978, he was a bright, sometimes mischievous, kid growing up in a large Jewish immigrant family on Long Island.
Gus Van Sant’s “Milk,” a nominee for the Academy Award for best picture, has evoked strong memories for (...)
This, Too, is the Face of Jerusalem: Serving the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community
Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, Forest Hills Jewish Center - March 2009 - The Jewish Week, New York
Among my friends and colleagues, I am occasionally chided for being a centrist. I am neither a leftist nor a partisan of the right, and I like to think that being open to the best thinking of all sides to an argument is the surest road to growth and wisdom.
And so it tends to be with me on social issues as well. Having been raised in the Orthodox world and only well into my college years gradually (...)
By Haaretz Service - 02/03/2009
Actress Lindsay Lohan is planning to convert to Judaism to show her committment to her Jewish girlfriend D.J. Samantha Ronson, according to the British Daily Mail Online.
Lohan, 22, announced on her facebook page that she planned to eschew her Catholic faith and then flew to London to attend the bar mitzvah of Ronson’s half brother, Joshua, according to report.
"She’s exploring Judaism right now. She’s explored the Church of Scientology, she tried (...)
By Denise L. Eger
Published February 25, 2009, issue of March 06, 2009.
The Jewish Daily Forward
The California Supreme Court will hear legal arguments on March 5 about Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage that was approved in November by 52% of the state’s voters. The point of law at issue is whether or not Proposition 8 constitutes a legal revision to the state constitution.
I am not a legal expert. But for me, and for the community I serve, this case (...)
February 26th, 2009
by Sharon Udasin
Staff Writer, The Jewish Week
When Caryn Aviv became pregnant with her daughter three years ago, she immediately decided that it was time to go “shul shopping” and began to scour Denver for a place where she would be comfortable as a Conservative-raised, openly gay, professional mom.
She instinctively tried out her local Conservative shul, where it seemed fine for her to show up alone and visibly pregnant - as long as she left any mention of (...)
By Orly Vilnai - Haaretz, 25/01/2009
For the first time in Israeli history, the court must intervene in a dispute between two lesbian mothers who are fighting over the custody of their two children.
Despite its urgency and its impact on two small children, since the case was first brought to it six months ago, the court has been dragging its feet and has not even examined the basic evidence yet.
Dorit, the biological mother of both children (conceived from anonymous donor sperm) and Yaela (...)
Jan. 24, 2009 Matthew Wagner , THE JERUSALEM POST Disagreement between the Israeli and American wings of Conservative Judaism over same-sex commitment ceremonies, the ordination of homosexual rabbis and other halachic issues reflects, in part, deep sociological differences between the two countries, Rabbi David Golinkin, president of the capital’s Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, said on Thursday. Image:Rabbi David Golinkin
NEW YORK (JTA) -- A New York City synagogue has received an award for its leadership on the issue of gay marriage.
By Gabrielle Birkner
Jan 15, 2009
‘The L Word” - the Showtime drama about a tight-knit group of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women living in West Hollywood, Calif. - kills off its resident Jewess in the January premiere of its sixth and final season. Jenny Schecter’s suspicious death will be the springboard for a whodunit plotline à la the famous “Who Shot J.R.?” mystery of “Dallas.”
Raised in an Orthodox household in Skokie, Ill., Jenny (Mia Kirshner) (...)
by Menachem Z. Rosensaft
Special To The Jewish Week
In contrast to some prominent Christian Evangelists, Pastor Rick Warren, who has been invited to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, does not wish gays and lesbians ill. He takes justifiable pride in his church’s record of caring for AIDS victims. At the same time, he actively opposes equal rights and equal treatment for gays and lesbians, which is not at all the same as not supporting such rights. He (...)
Formaron JAG, sigla de Judíos Argentinos Gays, que a la vez significa “fiesta” en hebreo. Dicen que se vieron obligados a hacerlo porque a su colectividad le cuesta mucho aceptarlos y no les daba espacios de inclusión. Pronto se sumaron también travestis y lesbianas de esa religión. Y se asociaron a padres de hijos gays, a los que asisten, incluso, con ayuda terapéutica para los jóvenes que “están saliendo del closet”. Su símbolo de pertenencia es la (...)