BY SPENCER WELLS for newvoices.org
On January 9th, 2018, Blaze Bernstein’s corpse was discovered in a shallow grave in Lake Forest, California. Bernstein’s murder came in the wake of the year that had, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the largest single-year increase of anti-Semitic incidents on record. Bernstein was a 19-year-old gay, Jewish man. His alleged killer is 21-year-old Samuel Woodward, a peer of Bernstein’s from high school. According to an investigation by ProPublica, Woodward has been involved with the Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group with a violent history. (Among other evidence, ProPublica obtained photographs of Woodward at a Atomwaffen meeting, including a photo in which he gives a straight-armed Nazi salute).
Monday, December 24, 2018 in NYC at Stage48
‘Tis the Season to be Jewish…
Now in it’s 12th year, A Christmas Eve Jewbilee brings together over 1,000+ gay Jews from around the world (& the goytoys who ❤️ us) to celebrate Christmas Eve in a whole new way!
This year, we’re taking over 3 floors of Stage48 (ok, well the 3rd floor is coatcheck – but we all appreciate a mega-well staffed coatcheck!). DJ Nandi spins the top American & Israeli pop tunes throughout this santa-less night. New performances this year w/creative direction by Jared Bradford.
By Shoshana Olidort for Tablet Magazine
Joy Ladin’s new book, ‘Soul of the Stranger,’ explores her intimate connection with God
“If I were God, and I wanted to invent religion, and the material I had to work with was a patriarchal society, I would make the religion as patriarchal as I could,” Joy Ladin told me when we spoke by phone recently. This may seem like a surprising comment coming from a transgender Jewish poet and scholar, but Ladin is a person of faith and this stance informs the trans theology at the center of her new book, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, in which Ladin offers close readings of key biblical passages to question pervasive assumptions about a religiously mandated gender binary.
Becky Silverstein for The Forward
The Facebook messages usually start with a shy “Hi, Rabbi Becky,” though sometimes it is more direct: “Can I ask you a question?”
They almost always come from the transgender and gender-nonconforming young people I know through my work with Keshet’s LGBTQ and Ally Teen Shabbatonim.
Efforts to make the community more compassionate have stopped short of sanctioning gay relationships.
The liberal Jewish movements have undergone dramatic shifts in their approach to gay, lesbian and transgender Jews in the past two decades, but among the Orthodox the changes have been far less dramatic — and in many quarters, virtually nonexistent.
Iggy is a proudly gay rabbi and spiritual counselor today and a fashion designer in another life. He grew up Orthodox and is tattooed. He has multiple homelands, and he thanks God for the New York City skyline. He’s comfortable in darkness and loves telling jokes. He studies Talmud daily and loves The Real Housewives. He revels in being a supreme hyphenate.
Editor’s Note: It is difficult to introduce something unfinished. Vetch is, as far as any of its editors know, the first journal devoted entire-ly to poems by trans people.
We founded Vetch to combat a few problems. The greatest is silence, a dearth of published work by trans poets dealing with trans themes (a silence which makes no sense, considering the trans poets currently at work).
by Sharrona Pearl for the Lilith Blog
We defend our friends. It’s natural. It’s powerful. It’s what friendship is all about. Certainly Avital Ronell’s friends— the most powerful philosophers in academe, for what it’s worth—wanted to defend her from the recently revealed allegations that she’d sexually harassed one of her male graduate students. The Title IX complaint by Nimrod Reitman resulted in her year-long suspension from NYU.