Being Gay and Jewish
Publish Date: 26/01/2012
The Holocaust did by far the most damage to the Jewish population. However, no-one was 100% safe. Holocaust Memorial Day is a way of remembering how easy it is for people to turn a blind eye until they are directly involved.
It is important that LGB&T organisations remember the holocaust, and also celebrate the fact that there are many LGBT Jewish people out there.
There is a lot to celebrate about being Jewish, and being LGB&T and Jewish, as we discuss in our ‘Faithbook’ resource (a guide to celebrating faith and sexual orientation for LGB&T people) - non-orthodox denominations do not have a problem with homosexual relations.
Ed Teeger Vice president of the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group UK, told us: “Masorti, Reform and Liberal Judaism welcome lesbian and gay Jews as full members of their communities. There are openly gay or lesbian Rabbis in the Reform and Liberal movements. Judaism believes that each individual has the free will to decide, and that Rabbis are only teachers to help those who need help to understand or interpret the laws.
Though as children we are taught that God said everything in the Bible, religion and history are more sophisticated than that. Each Jew has to decide which laws are fundamental to one’s faith, which laws one is comfortable to break, and which you do not consider as God given at all. Many biblical statements and those of other religions are now considered to be wrong on issues ranging from the treatment of children, women, and Jews (in the New Testament) to homosexuality and nationalism.
Our view is that as a living religion our attitudes should be judged against current values and justice. The Bible and the Jewish Laws were written in a historical context and have been re-interpreted over 2,500 years to relate to changes in society. Many of the old laws of Leviticus are no longer applied by even the most orthodox, because the Talmud and Rabbis through the centuries said they no longer apply.” Find out more about Faithbook here, http://bit.ly/nTF9bQ
Suzy from Keshet, Manchester a group for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Intersex Queer and Questioning Jews and their friends says: “I often joke that it would be preferable to everyone if I had a Jewish girlfriend rather than a non-Jewish boyfriend. By this I mean the major concern appears to be raising Jewish children, rather than one’s sexual preference.
I imagine this is because “marrying out” is obviously a problem, whereas homosexuality is very much hidden. Oh, and when I say hidden, I don’t mean behind a lace curtain, I mean under two duvets, three blankets and buried in a mountain of soil, ideally in outer Mongolia.” Read more of Suzy’s story here: http://bit.ly/wkKS42
LGBT Jewish Support and Social Groups
The Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group - the longest established Jewish gay group in the world. Membership is open to Jewish men and women who are gay, lesbian or bisexual and is welcoming to non-Jews and non-gay guests. You do not have to be religious to join the group as it is primarily a social group. Tel: 07504 924742. www.jglg.org.uk
Keshet UK - A national forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Jews.
Keshet means ‘rainbow’. The forum hopes to challenge prejudice, tackle anti-gay bullying and support Jewish LGB&T people in schools, synagogues and social care.www.keshetuk.org
Keshet Manchester - A group for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Intersex Queer and Questioning Jews. The group are working to ensure all LGB&T Jews are included as members of the Jewish community in North West England. www.keshetmanchester.org.uk
Manchester Liberal Jewish Community - The North West of England’s Liberal Jewish Community actively seek to include those who have experienced exclusion and discrimination on account of their gender, sexuality, disability or halakhic status (interfaith marriage, adoption, patrilineal descent, etc) .Tel: 0843 208 4441. www.mljc.org.uk
Support Group for Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians - The Support Group are not counsellors but parents who want to help other parents who are struggling to cope with their feelings and help parents with advice or through meeting other parents who have been through similar experiences. Tel: 07806 636089 / www.parentsofjewishgaysandlesbians.co.uk