Eshel Speakers Training, Bureau, and Educational Initiatives

eshel_02bEshel runs a number of educational initiatives, including training and empowerment of speakers and lay teachers in the Orthodox community.  Eshel’s Speakers Bureau (ESB) is designed to provide a forum for Orthodox people to share their stories in a non confrontational manner.  The trainings are conducted yearly in order to provide young Orthodox LGBT Jews and allies with a better understanding of powers of story sharing as a means of movement from within the frum community.  Speakers will be sent to various Orthodox communities to tell their stories in ways that do not threaten, but instead motivate people to make a real difference.

We have adapted the work of Marshall Ganz of Harvard University to create the Eshel Speaker’s Bureau-Public Narrative Workshop Guide which serves as a foundation for all our trainings. Professor Ganz’s work on public narrative is particularly suited to sharing our stories and experiences as  ways to build understanding of the pastoral and emotional issues faced by LGBT Orthodox Jews.

Orthodox synagogues, Hillels, JCCs, and other organizations can book Eshel speakers to talk about topics including:

  • Coming out in an Orthodox environment
  • Maintaining a Halachic lifestyle while being LGBT
  • Bullying and homophobia in educational settings
  • Maintaining relationships with family

Each institution will have the opportunity to work with Eshel to customize a panel for its specific needs.

Eshel just completed its 2012 Speaker/Leader Training in Washington DC.  Thanks to GLOE (Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach and Engagement), the Washington DC JCC and Keshet the training was a great success.

If you’d like to find out about the next Eshel Speaker Bureau Training, contact Rabbi Steve Greenberg at Steve@eshelonline.org