Eshel Out Loud

News, Views, and Updates from the Eshel Community

How I Overcame 23 Years of Conversion Therapy

How I Overcame 23 Years of Conversion Therapy

I had always heard people say “sexual orientation is a choice. You choose to be gay or straight.” Well, I chose to be straight and here’s how that choice worked out for me.   Finding My Closet   Growing up, I was quite an active kid. But my hyperactivity was often interpreted as naughtiness. So, [more]
Shavuot and the Wellbeing of LGBTQ+ Youth

Shavuot and the Wellbeing of LGBTQ+ Youth

For ten days last month, we accompanied two of our British colleagues from Keshet UK to five US states as they shared a rather unusual story. Dalia Fleming and Benjamin Ellis won the trust of the Chief Rabbi of England, and he theirs, in opening up dialogue in the Orthodox community about LGBTQ+ members. They [more]
The Day My Rainbow Got  Kicked Out of Shul

The Day My Rainbow Got Kicked Out of Shul

I am an Orthodox Jew. I’m also an openly Bi-woman who is an active part of the Jewish LGBTQ community, particularly the Orthodox group for support and acceptance called Eshel. I also have a lot of awesome friends in the Orthodox community—friends who love and support me for who I am and believe in a [more]
Between Acharei-Mot and Kedoshim

Between Acharei-Mot and Kedoshim

My bar mitzvah date was totally messed up. The synagogue bureaucrat who assigned it gave me the double portion of Aharei-Mot/Kedoshim to be read on April 26, 1969. But I was born in late June! I'm not sure why they thought it was ok, but this was a full two months before my 13th birthday. By mistake, I was given [more]
INSIDE – OUT: Purim as a Jewish Coming-Out Day

INSIDE – OUT: Purim as a Jewish Coming-Out Day

Purim is a holiday that celebrates the power of secrets and their revelation. The rabbis of the Talmud mark Purim explicitly as the festival of masks--which calls for nothing less than an unmasking of ourselves and ultimately, of God. This is the one time of the year when drinking a bit too much is a [more]