Welcome to the Eshel Resource Page: Groups, organizations, blogs, films and texts for the Orthodox community and their LGBT members
New at Eshel for Families of LGBT people!
Eshel Retreat for Orthodox Parents and Families of LGBT Children: April 26-28th, 2013! If you’d like to find out more or get involved, contact Miryam Kabakov at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eshel Parent Support Group - Telephone conference call for traditional Jewish parents with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children seeking peer support. We will also discuss ways to help parents and families navigate in their communities and to become advocates for their children. To join this group, contact Miryam Kabakov at email@example.com.
In the News
Follow the latest trends in Orthodoxy and Homosexuality in the news right here.
Organizations in the US That Include Programming for Traditional LGBT Jews
GLYDSA: The Gay and Lesbian Yeshiva Day School Alumni Association
Our purpose is to provide a safe space for people of all ages to integrate their Jewish and gay identities, in a self-affirming, positive manner, through discussion, socializing, and other activities.t group
We are a social/support group made up of frum/formerly frum* gay, bi, trans and lesbian Jews ages 17-30. We meet regularly for monthly meetings and informal social get togethers. In addition we have an anonymous online discussion group. We are New York based, but we have members all over the world.
Keshet is a grassroots organization dedicated to creating a fully inclusive Jewish community for GLBT people.
A support group for Jewish LBTQ women facing questions of sexuality, gender, and religion. Each meeting is facilitated by Chani Getter, and includes sharing and discussion. Confidentiality, support, and compassionate listening are central values. Ma’agal meets the first Tuesday of every month in Manhattan.
Nehirim builds community for GLBT Jews, partners, and allies, and is the largest national provider of programming for the GLBT Jewish community.
On the Internet
A Gay Orthodox Jew
Ely Winkler’s thoughtful chronicle of reconciling his Jewish and gay identities.
Started by a teenager living in a modern orthodox community with a married lesbian mom and a straight dad who created the site with the hope that teenagers with any variation of the gay parent/religious upbringing combination would find it and connect.
The Chalamti Blog
Discourses from the life of a gay Orthodox Jew, written by a young man. (“Chalamti” translates as “I dreamed” in Hebrew.)
A place for male-to-female and female-to-male transsexuals who are Orthodox Jews to meet and discuss pertinent issues. The list is also open to transsexuals who are no longer Orthodox as long as they retain respectful and positive views of Orthodox Judaism.
A listserv for GLBT Jews who are or have been Orthodox, or attended Yeshivas or Hebrew Day Schools.
This website includes a calendar of Queer Jewish events, a blog, and a shop.
Gotta Give ‘Em Hope
Chaim Levin grew up Lubavitch Hasidic Orthodox in Crown Heights, Brooklyn New York and was often bullied as a kid. After being thrown out of yeshiva after admitting his attraction to men, undergoing “reparative therapy,” and attempting suicide, he finally emerged a proud gay Jewish man. These are his musings.
It’s Like Disapproving of Rain
A gay woman writes about encountering — and countering — homophobia at the Shabbos table, along with her journey to embrace herself, and her desire to have a nice, traditional Jewish family…with another nice Jewish girl by her side.
Started by an Orthodox parent, Kirtzono is an anonymous forum for participants to share thoughts, stories and new glosses on Jewish texts and holidays.
A list for Gay Jewish men who are Orthodox. It was created to have a place where Orthodox Gay Jewish men (including those who are “Frum From Birth,” “Ba’al Tshuvah,” Modern Orthodox, Datti Le’umi, Haredi, Hardali, etc.) can meet or talk with others who are currently frum (Orthodox).
Orthodox, Gay and Married Jew
The unique perspective of a gay Orthodox man, formerly married to a woman, trying to navigate his complicated identity amidst his family and community.
Ideas of an American Syrian Orthodox Gay Jew by Rich Dweck. Rich provides a blend of resources dealing with Judaism and Homosexuality, along with important modern Jewish issues.
Temicha is an online support group for Orthodox Jewish parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
Tirtzah: A Community of Frum Queer Women
Tirtzah is a community of Frum Queer women who gather online and in person to celebrate and study Judaism, and to support one another in living integrated religious lives. Tirtzah has an e-mail list, a blog, and events in the New York and New Jersey area.
Beth Orens summarizes the responsa of the “Tzitz Eliezer” on the halachic status of transsexuals.
Texts of Interest
Bibliography of Contemporary Orthodox Responses to Homosexuality by the Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions
Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View by Rabbi Chaim Rapoport
Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires Edited by Miryam Kabakov
Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition by Rabbi Steven Greenberg
Films of Interest
DEVOUT is a 37-minute documentary film that follows the lives of seven women in New York and New Jersey who are trying to reconcile their alternative sexuality with their commitment to Orthodox Judaism. Their faith has always condemned homosexuality in the harshest terms. Find out how Chani, Pam, Elissa, Hayley, Lina and “Miriam” have dealt with being “unacceptable” while still remaining devoted to their strict faith and community.
Landmark film about gay Orthodox Jews. Site features curriculum and discussion guide.
A Wider Bridge seeks to inspire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Jews to deepen their Jewish identity through connection with Israel and to develop stronger connections between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities in Israel and North America.
Bat-kol – Religious Lesbian Organization was founded to allow women to fulfill both their religious and lesbian identity; to make it possible for women to live in loving relationships, to raise children without deception, but nevertheless stay committed to their religion. This organization is located in Israel.
Havruta offers social and support networks for religious LGBT people in Israel. Beyond being a safe haven, Havruta actively works to inform and educate the religious public about LGBT issues in their communities.
The Hod website is the first independent site for religious homosexual Jews, providing a platform for open-minded discussion in order to facilitate understanding about being gay and Orthodox.
The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH) is a leading organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their allies in the heart of Jerusalem. As a grassroots, activist community center, JOH provides direct services to all LGBTQ individuals in Jerusalem and its surrounding communities, while working to secure LGBTQ rights in Israeli society at large.