Tag Archives: LGBT history

Celebrating Harvey Milk Day

Today Harvey Milk would have been 83. Instead, this gay Jewish hero, who was cut down in his prime, remains a vaunted icon of gay rights across the globe. On his birthday, now known as Harvey Milk Day, we celebrate his work, life, and lasting legacy. At Keshet, we’re honoring his life and achievements by bringing you some rare photos of this pioneer.

After a career that included the Navy, high school teaching, and time on Wall Street, Milk moved to San Francisco. By 1973, he launched his first run for City Supervisor – and lost. In 1977, after his third attempt, he won the seat, becoming the first openly gay man ever elected to major public office in America. Harvey Milk was assassinated in 1978. His legacy of working for the civil rights of all and building coalitions among diverse groups continues to inspire and inform social justice work today. Enjoy this photo essay in honor of Harvey Milk, and check out events happening near you on the Harvey Milk Day website.

1975: Harvey at opening of 1975 Campaign. Estate of Harvey Milk. James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center San Francisco Public Library.

1975: Harvey at opening of 1975 Campaign. Estate of Harvey Milk. James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center San Francisco Public Library.

1942: Harvey with brother Robert at Coney Island. James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library

1942: Harvey with brother Robert at Coney Island. James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library

Between 1953-54: Harvey and friend in the Navy

Between 1953-54: Harvey and friend in the Navy

Harvey Milk Giving a toast at a family wedding

Harvey Milk giving a toast at a family wedding.

1974: Harvey Milk on stage at Gay Day, San Francisco Civic Center. Don Eckert, James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.

1974: Harvey Milk on stage at Gay Day, San Francisco Civic Center. Don Eckert, James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.

1978: Flowers and San Francisco Examiner at City Hall steps the day after the assassinations. James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.

1978: Flowers and San Francisco Examiner at City Hall steps the day after the assassinations. James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Between 1972-78: Harvey in Castro. Camera: James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Between 1972-78: Harvey in Castro. Camera: James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.

LGBT Jewish Heroes poster Harvey Milk

LGBT Jewish Heroes poster

You can get your own Harvey Milk poster to celebrate Harvey Milk Day as part of Keshet’s LGBT Jewish Heroes project. (20% discount on the series today. Use code: HMD at checkout.)

Special thanks to the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center San Francisco Public Library for access to these wonderful photos.

Posted on May 22, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

The Kavannah for Gay Ordination

On March 26, 2007, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the legal and spiritual center for Conservative Judaism in America, responded to a new tshuvah, or Jewish legal ruling, issued by that movement, and officially announced it would ordain openly gay and lesbian rabbis.

Keshet JTS

This rainbow sign says “Welcome!” in Hebrew. Photo via Keshet JTS

At an all day conference at the Seminary marking the one year anniversary of this historic decision, two rabbis offered a special kavannah, or guiding intention.

Rabbis Karen Reiss Medwed and Francince Roston wrote this kavannah to commemorate the occasion, using a traditional format and liturgical vocabulary. We bring you this kavannah to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Conservative movement’s decision to ordain gay and lesbian rabbis, a major step towards making the Jewish world an more inclusive space for LGBTQ Jews.

אלוהי כל בריות
יוצר אדם בצלמו
בצלם דמות תבניתו
עומדים אנחנו היום לפניך
בהודיה והלל
על פתיחת שער קהילתנו
בחזקה ובעצמה
Dearest Shekhina of all humanity
who embraces us together
under her wings of peace
We stand before you today
with open pride
Celebrating this tremendous day!
אל נא רפא נא
כי קלה לא הייתה הדרך
בהגיענו עד סף הפתח
:ונאמר היום
חזק
Be Strong:
For our reservoirs of individual strength as we journeyed in masked silence awaiting this day
חזק
Be Strong:
For the triumph of justice and צדק [tzedek] as we held to truth to illuminate the path to this day
ונתחזק
And let us be strengthened
As we continue forward and gain strength to bring completeness to this journey
כי נדע שעוד רבה הדרך
אך היום במרגע, בתפילה, ובנשימה עמוקה
אנו נהלל את האל הייחודי
אשר את כולנו ברא
:ונאמר היום
חזק
Be Strong:
And celebrate the open inclusion of all Jews to this House of Study and Place of worship
חזק
Be Strong:
And celebrate the open inclusion and acceptance of all Jews as כלי קודש [holy vessels] in this community
ונתחזק
And be strengthened
As we celebrate today the simple yet elusive blessing written by Marcia Falk:
to be who we are and to be blessed in all that we are
נהיה אשר נהיה
ונהיה ברוכים באשר נהיה
Let us say together – with passion and conviction, with love and affirmation, through tears and through joyous proclamation -
חזק   חזק    ונתחזק

Posted on March 28, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Guten Tag, Keshet!

In early October, Dan Schulman joined Keshet as the new Massachusetts Community Organizer. Before he could get settled, Dan was off to Germany to participate in a unique trip: The Germany Close Up Fellowship: An Open Program for LGBT Young Professionals. This trip was sponsored by Germany Close Up – American Jews Meet Modern Germany,” an organization that seeks to “enrich transatlantic dialogue” and provide a way for young Jewish professionals to experience the diversity and history of modern Germany, and was co-sponsored by He’bro. This is the first LGBT-focused trip for the group. Dan checked in with us via email to let us know what he was learning.

Foundations of Berlin's oldest synagogue

Foundations of Berlin's first synagogue

It’s been an intense first two days here in Berlin. Although we are jetlagged, we began our program delving into German history. Here are photos of the foundation of the very first shul in Berlin. Anecdotally, the women of the 50 Jewish families in the first settlement were unhappy when it was built, as it took prayer out of the home. Instead of telling you why that made them so unhappy, I’d like to hear your best guesses – leave them in the comments section!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on October 24, 2012

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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