Luzer Twersky is an actor who plays Mendel in Season Two of Amazon’s hit television show “Transparent.” He grew up in an insular Hasidic community in Brooklyn, which he left in his early 20s, with help from Footsteps, an organization that helps formerly ultra-Orthodox Jews integrate into mainstream society. He is best known for his role in the film “Félix & Meira,” which is Canada’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar this year. Luzer spoke with Keshet’s David Levy last week after the first episode of “Transparent” was released.
The AIDS epidemic began slowly, but one by one, members of our synagogue, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, as well as many of our other friend’s friends, learned of their being HIV+. Our congregation’s Bikkur Cholim (outreach to the ill) Committee began discussing how our community might best respond. With gay men no longer able to donate blood, the women of the congregation began an annual blood drive and the men baked sweets and came to the blood bank to provide support with roses, massages, and hugs.