Taking A Stand as a Gay Rabbi in North Carolina

Rabbis Against HB2

I moved to North Carolina about eight months ago after living most of my life either above or well above the Mason-Dixon line. I remember distinctly a few weeks before I left, my parents sat me down and attempted to warn me about life in the South. Mind you, neither of them had ever lived in the South, but they were concerned that as a gay Jew, I would not be able to make a home for myself here in the way I would elsewhere. “Don’t be too loud or expressive about your Jewishness; maybe hide your Chai (the Hebrew symbol for life) necklace,” they both warned. Needless to say, I took their ostensibly dire warnings with many grains of salt, and reminded myself I was moving to Durham in 2016, and not Birmingham in 1955, or Jackson in 1860, which I think my parents were both expecting.

Posted on April 28, 2016

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Our Love Party: Inviting Community When Family Won’t Come

Rachel and Mary

We are two women who for very similar (yet different) reasons are starting off envisioning and planning our wedding without the history of years and years of tradition to tell us what to do. We both have our relationships with the faiths that we grew up in, the ideas of God that we grew up with, and our family and friends, and all of them have loud and insistent voices. Whether we allow those voices that speak in shame and judgment in or not, they are all coming to this party.

Posted on April 18, 2016

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Emerging from Narrow Places: Passover and the Stories of LGBTQ Jews

LGBTQ Celebratory Passover Resource Guide

At Passover, we retell the story of the Israelites’ journey to freedom from mitzrayim, “a narrow place.” Telling the story of this journey, the very act of giving voice to our struggle and our redemption through the ritual of the seder, is at the center of the holiday. In the LGBTQ community, we know how powerful it can be to tell our stories—we know that storytelling, and the retelling of our journeys toward freedom, can be a sacred act.

Posted on April 8, 2016

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Making it Personal: How the JCRC Advocates for Trans Inclusion

Raffi (center), pictured with Keshet's Idit Klein (left) and Joanna Ware (right)

Embedded in our communal and organizational DNA is the belief that all people come before the government with an equal right to justice, liberty and the freedom to live lives of dignity. The struggle for civil rights and equality under the law are not merely aspirational, but a daily motivation that guides our work in helping to shape public policy and create a just community.

Posted on March 28, 2016

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