Thursday, April 17, 2014

EVENTS: April 25-27th, Speaker: Orthodox Rabbi Steven Greenberg of Eshel, Topic: Homosexuality and Jewish Law, Where: Southern Westchester, NY

"Jewish Organizations Sponsor Speaking Tour Focused On LGBTQ Community" - The Daily Voice by Nathan Bruttell
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Several Jewish organizations are leading a movement to make Orthodox Judaism more open and accepting of homosexual members.

Friday, April 11, 2014

" At Eshel, We Are Hopeful" by Rabbi Steven Greenberg and Miryam Kabakov- The Jewish Week
4/10/14- Our friend Justin Spiro has hit upon the challenge in his piece, "LGBTQ Youth Have No Derech To Stray From." We cannot complain that young people are leaving a community if it leaves them first. 
It cannot be denied that LGBT lives are at present, largely unacknowledged, excised or reviled by a majority of the Orthodox community. However, at Eshel, we are actually optimistic in regard to the future, and we want everyone, including teens and their parents, to hold off from despair. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"LGBTQ (Orthodox Jewish) Youth Have No Derech To Stray From" by Justin Spiro- The Jewish Week

4/9/14- This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to represent JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) at Keshet's Shabbaton for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) teenagers. JQY is a non-profit organization supporting LGBTQ youth and their families in the Orthodox community.  The participants at the Shabbaton represented a wide variety of religious, gender, and sexual identities. 

What struck me most was the life-saving role Judaism played in the lives of these teens. Many found refuge in religion when homophobic friends, family, and society rejected them. They spoke about Reform and Conservative congregations and youth groups embracing them and mitigating the harsh reality of life beyond the synagogue walls. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Gay (Orthodox) Rabbi Discusses Religion, Tolerance" at UMD - by Elena Baurkot for The Diamondback

Photo by Marquise McKine
4/1/14- After beginning to identify as a gay man in 1999, Rabbi Steve Greenberg felt like a “duck-billed platypus” — it was an unthinkable scenario. 

However, the author and teacher learned to reconcile his religion and homosexuality, a topic he discussed last night in McKeldin Library’s Special Events Room in front of about 100 (150) people. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"The Power of Knowing You Are Not Alone" by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink

13735142863/17/14- In Haaretz and Tablet Magazine, a pair of articles about Orthodox parents of LGBT children discuss the challenges of their predicament and an organization that is helping parents navigate their new world after their children come out. The organization is called Eshel and I think they are doing very important work. 
There is a difference between the two articles. Haaretz gives more superficial and less optimistic view of the overall situation. While Tova Ross has written a pretty comprehensive and optimistic take on the work Eshel is doing and the progress being made in the community. 

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