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israeli orthodox and gay

October 29, 2010

israeli, orthodox and gay are three words i don’t hear often together. neither is it heard often by the chair of the group that i work for the lgbt alliance, arthur slepian. but as of next week we will hear these words together a bit more with a group of israeli leaders from havruta (a gay religious group) and bat kol (a lesbian religious group) visiting nyc, sf and la. they will be sharing their stories about forging new ground in israeli society as out orthodox jewish gays and lesbians.

what is moving for me beyond the actual topic of conversation is the experience of seeing the focused and determined leadership making this moment happen. arthur slepian had been hearing folks in our local community say for years that they are interested in unscripted and open conversations about israel. in response, while aiming to talk more about what israel is outside of what many think of as the mainstream institutional pedagogy, arthur began building a group called a wider bridge. and now because of his self-determination the conversations that our community said they wanted to experience are beginning to happen.

i am impressed with this and want to shout, todah rabah, to arthur. i look forward to hearing these speakers while he continues to open the platform for greater conversations in interesting, relevant and yes, maybe even provocative forum. learn more on the tour

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3 Comments
  1. Pauline Moreno permalink

    Please tell me how we can get our shul involved and what information is available to us

  2. pauline. thanks for asking. arthur slepian the founder of the group a wider bridge can be reached via the following links http://www.awiderbridge.org/contact-us.html as well as via facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=344750743411. he is an incredible leader and always open to conversations on how to bring this conversation into new communities. by the way, the “israeli orthodox and gay” speaking tour just got some great press coverage in the J Weekly, the Jewish newspaper of the SF Bay Area http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/59889/trio-shines-light-on-being-gay-orthodox-in-israel

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