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Eshel Summer Book Series: Queer Judaism with Orit Avishai

July 18 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Eshel Queer Judaism Book Series - Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires (2011) Miryam Kabakov - SunDay, August 18 8:00 pm Lehrhaus - Somerville, MA

Eshel is partnering with Lehrhaus in Somerville, MA to Celebrate the Anniversaries of three groundbreaking books this summer on the Queering of Traditional Judaism.


About the Book

Queer Judiasm: LGBT Activism and the Remaking of Jewish Orthodoxy in Israel
Orit Avishai

Until fairly recently, Orthodox people in Israel could not imagine embracing their LGBT sexual or gender identity and staying within the Orthodox fold. But within the span of about a decade and a half, Orthodox LGBT people have forged social circles and communities and become much more visible. This has been a remarkable shift in a relatively short time span. Queer Judaism offers the compelling story of how Jewish LGBT persons in Israel created an effective social movement.

Drawing on more than 120 interviews, Orit Avishai illustrates how LGBT Jews accomplished this radical change. She makes the case that it has taken multiple approaches to achieve recognition within the community, ranging from political activism to more personal interactions with religious leaders and community members, to simply creating spaces to go about their everyday lives. Orthodox LGBT Jews have drawn from their lived experiences as well as Jewish traditions, symbols, and mythologies to build this movement, motivated to embrace their sexual identity not in spite of, but rather because of, their commitment to Jewish scripture, tradition, and way of life. Unique and timely,Queer Judaism: LGBT Activism and the Remaking of Jewish Orthodoxy in Israel (NYU Press, 2023) challenges popular conceptions of how LGBT people interact and identify with conservative communities of faith.


About the Author:

Orit Avishai is a sociologist at Fordham University in New York, where she is affiliated with the Center for Jewish Studies. She has a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and law degrees from the Yale Law School and Tel Aviv University. She teaches courses on religion, gender, sexuality, and American politics. Her book Queer Judaism: LGBT Activism and the Remaking of Jewish Orthodoxy in Israel addresses how traditional religious values and practice in Israel is being reshaped by the life choices of LGBTQ+ Orthodox Jews.

The next and final event in this series is on August 18 – Keep Your Wives Away From Them (2011) by Miryam Kabakov


July 18
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm


425 Washington Street
Somerville, MA 02143 United States
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