Friday, June 29, 2012


"Gay rights groups call for thorough investigation in shooting of Texas teen girlfriends"

By Associated Press, Published: June 27

McALLEN, Texas — Investigators on Wednesday were still trying to determine a motive for the killing of a teenage woman and the wounding of her girlfriend in a shooting at a South Texas park that has caught the attention of gay rights groups.

The shooting at a Portland park Friday night killed 19-year-old Mollie Olgin and wounded 18-year-old Mary Kristene Chapa. Police in Portland, a town of about 15,000 people about seven miles north of Corpus Christi, have not identified any suspects or announced any arrests.

Family and friends have told police the women were a couple, but police Chief Randy Wright said in a statement late Tuesday that “there is no current evidence to indicate the attacks were motivated by that relationship.”

Police on Wednesday released the initial call report that shows police arrived at the park along the Gulf Coast five minutes after the call came in Saturday morning. Visitors to the park saw the women in tall grass below an observation deck. Olgin, of Ingleside, was pronounced dead on the scene and Chapa, of Sinton, was taken to a hospital where she was listed in stable condition.

Vigils for the women are scheduled for Wednesday evening in San Francisco and Friday in Washington, D.C., and Portland, Texas, among other cities.

Gay and lesbian advocacy groups the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Texas condemned the shootings and urged a thorough investigation. Chuck Smith, deputy executive director of Equality Texas, said he was satisfied with the investigation thus far.
“I think on some levels, regardless of the fact that they were gay, it’s a horrific crime that touches people just because of the simplest loss of life and that something like that happens in a small town,” Smith said.

Jillian Manuel, 20, a friend of Olgin’s, echoed that Wednesday.
“We’re trying to figure out why they would hurt Mollie or Kristene,” Manuel said. “Mollie was one of the sweetest girls I ever knew, and from the sounds of it so is Kristene. So we’re trying to figure out why someone would just do that because Portland is a safe community. We don’t have robberies that go bad. We don’t have murder cases like this.”

Bibi: Draft Law Must Apply to All –

Bibi: Draft Law Must Apply to All –

Jewish, Beyond Belief: Why Behavior Matters

Jewish, Beyond Belief: Why Behavior Matters

George Washington’s Jewish Correspondence

George Washington’s Jewish Correspondence

In a letter that will go on display before Independence Day, George Washington conveys his commitment to one of America’s founding principles while corresponding with the Jewish community.
At the center of “To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington and Religious Freedom”—an exhibit opening June 29 at the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia—is a letter written by Washington in August 1790 to Congregation Jeshuat Israel in Newport, R.I., now called the Touro Synagogue, in which Washington expresses his revolutionary understanding of religious freedom.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"A Jewish blessing for the bridegrooms" - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

My Commentary: This is so beautiful. He is so right on the point that the issue with homosexuality years ago is no longer valid. Be fruitful and multiply is no longer an issue, due to modern technology and the creation of gay marriage. It fulfills the "man shall not be alone."  Rich Dweck  

By Avraham Burg Jun.22, 2012 | 4:58 AM - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper  When MKs Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu ) and Uri Ariel (National Union ) shared their opinions and viewpoints about the nature and fate of members of the gay community, I was busy elsewhere. I had the privilege, for the first time in my life, officiating at the marriage of a same-sex couple. They deliberately chose a ceremony that was totally gay and at the same time totally humane and Jewish.

"No joke Day schools fight bullying"

Washington Jewish Week 

by David Holzel Senior Writer
Just for a minute, look at things the way some of Ethan Steinberg's classmates at the
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School see them.
Someone walks away from his computer but leaves the screen open to the class's Facebook page.
Wide open. So someone else - Classmate B - sneaks up to the keyboard and writes something
on the page about Classmate C. Now everybody thinks Classmate A did it.

Ha ha, pretty funny, right?

Southern Baptist Convention Declares Gay Rights Are Not Civil Rights | Religion Dispatches

Southern Baptist Convention Declares Gay Rights Are Not Civil Rights | Religion Dispatches

Mormons Prepare to March in Seven LGBT Parades this Weekend | Religion Dispatches

Mormons Prepare to March in Seven LGBT Parades this Weekend | Religion Dispatches

Saturday, June 23, 2012

UK "Chief Rabbi’s opposition to marriage equality and civil partnerships ‘regrettable’"

The document submitted by the London Beth Din (Court of the Chief Rabbi) said marriage was, ‘by definition in Jewish (Biblical) Law… the union of a male and a female.’
The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks will have a vote on the legislation as a cross-bench life peer in the House of Lords.

Friday, June 22, 2012

REGISTER: Nehirim Queer Shabbaton DC- October 26, 2012

Nehirim Queer Shabbaton 
Washington, DC  
Friday 10/26/12
Click here to Register Now
Co-presented with GLOE: The Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach & Engagement at the Washington DC JCC.
The Queer Shabbaton DC is a weekend-long “urban retreat” of community, culture, and spirituality for LGBT Jews, partners, & allies. Fun, stimulating and inspiring, the Queer Shabbaton returns to DC for a second time in the fall of 2012!  Location: Washington DC JCC 16th & Q Streets, NW Washington, DC
Queer Shabbaton weekends generally attract 100–150 LGBT Jews, plus straight allies and non-Jewish partners, from across the religious-ideological spectrum, ranging in age from 18–70 (usually, most are in their 20s–40s), and with a wide variety of gender and sexual orientation identities. Transgender nice Jewish boys, avowed atheists, couples and singles, men, women, and the rest of us — there are people like you at Nehirim.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Is College Working? The Decline of the Humanities!" w/ stats by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

PhotoPosted by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz June 13, 2012 | 4:16 am  

Unemployment Rate (%)
Annual Earnings ($)
Computers and Mathematics
Humanities (Liberal Arts)
Psychology/Social Work
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz- As a campus educator who has taught students on more than 30 campuses around the country, I see how stressed students are to compete for grades, jobs, and organizational positions. Most students seem more focused on achievement than on their personal life search and intellectual journey. They are, of course, not to blame as a transactional culture has become overwhelming but we have much to fear for the future of the university and the intellectual culture of our country.
Sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, in their book Academically Adrift, report that 45 percent of college students have not improved their critical thinking and writing skills after two years, and 36 percent still have not improved after four years. What are these students paying so much for?

"Drawing a Line" editorial in Jewish Press (Homophobia) Gays marching in the Israeli parade

My Commentary: It is amazing how people think that the bible only has one interpretation. Why would the torah have so many commentaries if they are all the same. The beauty of the bible (torah) is that we have diversity of opinions. I just think with all that is going on that todays rabbis should be working on dealing with the issue of homosexuality and the issue of women that divorce but cannot remarry until the man gives her a get (document of divorce). Maybe, Avi should be ostracized and see how it feels. Maybe he should be denied everything he was trained and promised all of his life.
Rich Dweck 
Editorial from Jewish Press: Can one imagine a Celebrate Israel Parade that includes a marching group called Adulterers for Israel? Or Sabbath Violators for Israel? And what about Jews for Jesus? Certainly those of us who love Torah and love Israel would be appalled. I would be hesitant to attend a parade that implicitly endorses sinful activity. Yet that is precisely what transpired at this year’s parade, when, for the first time, a gay group, Jewish Queer Youth, marched under its own banner.

Brooklyn, NY Prosecutor "Hynes Will Release Pedophile Files" of American Orthodox Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz–

Hynes Will Release Pedophile Files –

Did Brooklyn prosecutor Charles Hynes push hard enough to extradite Avrohom Mondrowitz from Israel? The public may soon find out after Hynes agreed to release a trove of documents related to the case.

"The Undeserving Poor?" New York Jewish Landscape changing with increase in Ultra-Orthodox Jews–

The Undeserving Poor? –

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Sweeping Changes To N.Y. Jewry Seen In First-In-Decade Survey" Jewish Week

 My comments: In the second article, it stated "It comes down to fostering and strengthening a positive Jewish character in what some are calling a “leaner and meaner” American Jewish society where fewer people affiliate, but those who do are more intensely involved. 
  1. Orthodox Jews= 1/3 of the community and 64 percent of its children
  2. Older, poorer, more Orthodox and more balkanized.
  3. Orthodox births fuel population jump as number of poor rise; Reform, Conservative decrease. Can center hold?
  4. 37% of Jews define themselves as nondenominational or “Just Jewish,” a figure that has doubled since 1990.
  5. The Conservative and Reform movements each lost about 40,000 members over the decade
  6. 20% of all people in Jewish households are poor today — with incomes under 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines — compared to 15 percent in 2002. 
  7. Hardest hit are Russian-speaking seniors who live alone (77 percent are poor) and chasidic Jews (45 percent of chasidic households are poor).
  8. The Modern Orthodox= 4 times, Haredim (Ultra- Religious)=12 times the number of children as non-Orthodox homes.
  9. 26 percent of Jewish households earning $250,000 or more make philanthropic donations, but not to Jewish causes
  10. “Very high correlation in many studies, including this one, between the level of adult Jewish engagement and the kinds of Jewish education people had when they were young. Those who had a day school education, an Israel experience or attended a Jewish summer camp are much more likely to be Jewishly engaged than those who just had a supplementary school education.
  11.  More Jews live in the eight-county New York area than in the combined metropolitan areas of Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.
  12. The increase in Orthodox households “offset the rising rate of intermarriage in the non-Orthodox population.
  13. Intermarriage rate=22 percent, the same as in 2002, but 40 percent overall among the non-Orthodox, and a new high of 50 percent among non-Orthodox couples married in the last five years.
  14. Over the last several decades the Modern Orthodox have moved to the right, in part a result of young people coming back from a year or two of post-high school yeshiva study in Israel and taking on more stringent levels of observance than their parents

"Chief Rabbi will fight non-Orthodox rabbis’ salaries" (Holier than thou)

June 18, 2012

Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi said he will fight the state’s agreement to pay the salaries of some non-Orthodox rabbis who lead their communities.
Rabbi Shlomo Amar said in an interview with the haredi Kol Berama radio station on Sunday night that he would convene the Chief Rabbinate Council, made up of Orthodox rabbis throughout Israel, to discuss ways to reverse the decision. The meeting reportedly will take place next week.
“The greatest danger for our generation is the danger of assimilation, and we need to be strong and steadfast in our fight,” Amar said. “It is forbidden to remain silent because there is nothing more serious than this measure.”
He added that the decision to recognize non-Orthodox rabbis could “uproot all the foundations of the Torah.”
Amar also objected to the fact that the attorney general, who brokered the agreement, did not consult with the Chief Rabbinate.

Video:"It Could Happen To You" Tom Bridegroom (April 22, 1982-May 7, 2011)

"As North Carolina becomes the 30th state to entrench gay marriage discrimination in its constitution, a video is going viral about the very serious consequences of gay marriage inequality. Shane Bitney’s love of his life, Tom Bridegroom, fell from a rooftop and died. Shane soon learnt what can happen when not having marriage rights can mean. The video has gone viral and reminds us all of the powers laws have on our personal lives."

My Comments: Thank you to Tomer Hasson for recommending this for me to watch and post on my site!
This is one of the saddest stories I have ever seen. This reminded me of the movie "Latter Days", the movie about a Mormon that was excommunicated and made to feel like he was the one tearing apart his family and the Mormon Faith. The parents were willing to see him dead.
Trust me when I tell you that I, along with many others, have tried to change my sexual orientation in order to satisfy what I thought God, my family and community wanted. In the end, it made me suicidal, self-destructive, angry and wished I had never been born. I realized one day that God and the people around me, loved me for who I am. We all have different purposes on this earth. 
To all those that think you know what God wants for everyone else, just focus on you and your personal relationship with God. Never ever judge someone else's relationship. Don't play God, just be the best human being you can be! No one has the right to discriminate towards another!
I don't care who you are or what your beliefs are, as long as you respect and love all human beings. Treat people as you would want to be treated. Treat every human, as a child of God. Would God ever be hateful, threatening and malicious to any of his children? Should a parent? 
Wake up and realize the pain and suffering caused by ones that hate, disrespect and threaten those they do not agree with! Why should anyone ever have to end their life, because they feel less than or feel that they are hated? Do what is right and love your child, family member, community member for who they are! 
Rich Dweck 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Watch President Obama's Address to LGBT Crowd at Pride Reception

I'm very glad to know we have our President speaking out for LGBT rights! How many years has it been since Harvey Milk was killed? How long has this journey taken? We are not even half way there, but at least we are making progress! Thank you Mr. President and may we be blessed with another 4 years!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Study: Male homosexuality ‘strongly genetic,’ and related to"
A new study has suggested that male homosexuality is much more genetically determined than previously thought, and is directly related to the fecundity of female relatives.

"Lakewood Girls School under Attack for Controversial Letter on Modesty" Jewish Press

By: Michael Orbach Published: June 14th, 2012
       The Lakewood, NJ, Bnos Yaakov elementary school is not happy over the fact that an internal letter to its students has been published online at the Lakewood View website. Posted by someone claiming to be a parent at the school, it contains a story from the Shomer Emunim, with a particularly disturbing version of purgatory for girls who don’t obey the laws of tzniyut (modesty).
       The Shomer Emunim (“Guardian of the Faith”), Rabbi Arele (Aharon) Roth, is the 20th century founder of a Chasidic group known for their fervent and emotional prayer, and a rigid lifestyle guided by decrees from the Rebbe.
       In the story, as it is cited in the flier, posted in Lakewood View, a group of men heard a scream and traced it to a small house in a field. Inside the house they saw, “an old woman, with a younger lady laying on a bench. On the ground burned a huge fire, and on the fire stood a large pot filled with clothing. The clothing, which were boiling up in the pot, emitted clouds of smoke rising up to the ceiling. The old woman silently reached into the pot, took out a boiling article of clothing, and put it onto the young woman, instantly burning her body. The young woman was screaming terribly in pain, but the older woman continued putting more and more burning clothing on her.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews"

The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah consists of around 50 member organizations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The World Congress holds conferences and workshops representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender Jews around the world. The focus of these sessions varies from regional, national, continental, to global.
The Hebrew subtitle Keshet Ga’avah - Rainbow of Pride - emphasizes the importance of Hebrew and of Israel to the World Congress.

"Jews Clash in Queer Toronto Over Inclusion of BDS Group in Parade"
A Jewish gay and lesbian group has submitted a request to the Pride Toronto arbitration panel, asking the gay pride parade organizers to ban anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from the festival, according to a report in the Toronto Star. 

"Debate surrounds intersex inclusion in the DSM V"
The DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is the American Psychological Association (APA) guidebook used by psychiatrists all around the world. It is currently undergoing revisions for a fifth edition, which has sparked controversy in many areas. Among these is its inclusion, for the first time, of intersex people.

"Author defends study said to have been ‘flawed and misleading’ about gay parents"
The author of a US study which appeared to link an increased likelihood of negative life experiences in adults who grew up with a gay parent compared with those who grew up with married, straight parents has defended his study in the face of strong criticism.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"How to Tell Love From Hate: The Bible vs. Pastor Charles Worley" by Jay Michaelson

VIDEO:"Gays March in Israel Parade NYC 2012 for First Time" w/commentary

          This is such an amazing breakthrough. A group that I am proud to call myself a member of, JQY marched along with a bunch of other Jewish LGBT Orgs. If only the men that passed away from Aids in the 80's and 90's were able to see this. Sometimes, I think about what it was like for them. They had no idea what was going on, no treatments and most didn't even know how it was spread. The religious right said it was God's way of punishing the sinful homosexuals.
          Growing up in the 80's myself, I remember my mom coming home and telling us that the guy who always washed her hair at the salon died of Aids. She was terrified. People still didn't know what it was from. All they knew what that it was mostly amongst the Gay community.
          Years later, I heard of individual cases of Syrian Gay Jewish Men that passed away from Aids. I wonder who was there for them. People were told that they passed away from "Cancer". People don't talk about these people and they are pretty much forgotten.
          What if those people lived today, how would they feel about themselves and others around them? Would they have chosen to get married, be involved in LGBT rights and marched at the Israeli Day Parade yesterday.
          Rabbi Besser of the Yeshiva of Flatbush High School made a speech at a shabbaton 15+ years ago and I still remember it. He said, I went to a funeral and a wedding a few days ago. He said seeing such sadness and such happiness in the same day made him think. I will try and quote him based on my memory. "If we don't have sadness, how can we truly experience joy. We were given both emotions for a reason, and one enhances the other. Being able to cry and then laugh is a gift from God." So in this joyful moment, I remember those that have passed before us.  Rich Dweck

Friday, June 1, 2012

"California senate approves ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy for minors"

Video: "Child Sings 'Ain't No Homo Gonna Make It To Heaven' In Church - Disturbing!"

Article from "Pink News" Website from UK-by Stephen Gray 31 May 2012, 2:44pm
The pastor of a church was reported to have received death threats after a video appeared online yesterday showing a child being cheered on while singing anti-gay lyrics.
The church at which the boy, reported to be three years old, performed was revealed to be the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana.
In the video, the child sings to the congregation: “I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong — Romans 1 and 27, ain’t no homo going to make it to heaven.”
The congregants erupt in cheers at the line as the child looks around, passes the microphone to another boy and walks towards the pews. The video then appears to show him reappearing to sing the song again to further applause.
Romans 1:27 reads: “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
A statement from the church said: “The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason.
“We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture.” said the pastor had received death threats at his home and that he had left for a holiday this morning without saying where he was going.
The website added the congregants they had spoken to showed no regret, with one saying: “The people who are upset just don’t read the word of God. If we don’t teach the children the truth early they will never learn.”
Another said it was expected that they would applaud a child who was “singing a song about God”.

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