At Yeshiva University, Students Prepare To March For LGBTQ Rights

At Yeshiva University, Students Prepare To March For LGBTQ Rights

Molly Meisels, a student at Yeshiva University, wanted to invite assemblymember Deborah Glick to talk about her experience as New York’s first openly gay legislator to the school’s College Democrats club. The university administration had other ideas.

Two weeks before the event took place, Meisels said she was called into an office and asked not to advertise the event in any way as LGBTQ-related and not to ask the assemblymember LGBTQ-related questions. “They told me that someone from higher up in the university was trying to stop the event from happening,” she said.

🇮🇹 Proteggere e dare voce ai giovani ebrei LGBT prima che sia troppo tardi 🇮🇹

🇮🇹 Proteggere e dare voce ai giovani ebrei LGBT prima che sia troppo tardi 🇮🇹

I genitori di Adam Seef, un adolescente ebreo appartenente ad una comunità ortodossa modern di Johannesburg, in Sud Africa, mai si sarebbero potuti immaginare che non l’avrebbero visto tornare dal viaggio in Israele organizzato dall’associazione giovanile ebraica Ohrsom Student.

Al suo posto, sono giunti diversi messaggi, scritti sul suo smartphone prima che Adam si togliesse la vita.

«Provare a fingere di essere qualcosa che non sono di fronte a tutti voi sta diventando più difficile ogni giorno che passa, perché non sono l’eterosessuale che fingo di essere. Avrei voluto potervi dire tutto, e so che avreste capito, ma sotto sotto, so che il nostro rapporto sarebbe cambiato», ha scritto Adam in uno dei messaggi indirizzati ai suoi cari, riportati dal quotidiano sudafricano Sunday Times. «Vedo [i miei amici] allontanarsi da me, trovare il successo e l’amore eterosessuale, lasciandomi solo ed isolato».

Every Orthodox Rabbi Ought To Read This Book About The Lives Of LGBTQ Orthodox Jews

Every Orthodox Rabbi Ought To Read This Book About The Lives Of LGBTQ Orthodox Jews

Just a few days ago, a Jewish teenager from South Africa committed suicide while on an organized trip to Israel. Before dying, the 19-year-old—a first-year medical school student—wrote a note on his phone that he was struggling with his sexual identity and his place in the Modern Orthodox community he belonged to.

“Trying to pretend to be something I am not in front of you all is becoming more trying by the day as I’m not the heterosexual being I portray for you. I wish I could have told you guys everything and I know you would have understood, but deep down, I know our relationship would have changed,” the teenager reportedly wrote.

It’s crucial that Jewish institutions, leaders, and publications give visibility to the conversation on LGBT identities in Judaism, rather than avoiding it. The erasure of the issue is unlikely to stop tragedies like this to happen again. Only by having more open discussions on the matter we can try to foster an environment in which no teenager will ever bee so afraid to reveal their sexual identity that they prefer to die.

A New Program Offers A Space For Non-Binary Mitzvahs

A New Program Offers A Space For Non-Binary Mitzvahs

During middle school, Yoni Kollin took part in “Shevet,” a Jewish teen group in Los Angeles for boys post-bar mitzvah. The program, facilitated by Moving Traditions, a Jewish organization that provides progressive educational teen programming, offered a parallel program for girls, too, called “Rosh Hodesh.”

Yet for Kollin, neither program was a perfect fit. Kollin, who is now 18 years old and a senior in a high school on the Westside, identifies as non-binary and goes by the pronoun “they.” Read the full article here.