NY Yeshiva Blasts Top Rabbi For Slurs Against LGBT, Reform Jews

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah posts rebuke after IDF-affiliated rabbi calls gay Jews ‘perverts' and Reform Jews ‘Christian.'

07/21/2016 - 18:05
Editorial Intern

As 25,000 people march through the streets of Jerusalem to celebrate LGBT pride, Israeli rabbis, institutions and politicians are trading barbs over inflammatory comments made by the head of a pre-military yeshiva in the West Bank. And a New York Orthodox yeshiva is now joining the fray.

Israelis take part in the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem, as NY Yeshiva Condemns anti-LGBT rabbi. Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

LGBT Mission Aiming To ‘Broaden The Tent’

In Israel, JFNA participants push hot-button marriage issues, stand with country’s gay community.

06/01/2016 - 08:25
Contributing Editor

Jerusalem — Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum, is a mandatory stop for every mission organized by the Jewish Federations of North America, but Nazi persecution of the Jews, not persecution of gays and lesbians, is the central focus of the center.

A different stone wall: Participants in this week’s LGBT mission sponsored by JFNA visit the Western Wall. Eyal Warsavsky

LGBT Inclusion: A Quest For Dignity

05/26/2016 - 12:05

I had the honor and privilege to staff the recent fourth annual Eshel Parent Retreat.  Eshel is a community and support organization for LGBT Jews and their families in the Orthodox community.  I spent Shabbat with more than 50 Orthodox Jewish parents of LGBT children, all of whom attended the retreat with tremendous courage and out of incredible love for their children. 

Jeremy Novich. Via

At Eurovision Finale, Will Israel’s Star Shine?

Europe’s popular American Idol-style sing-off concludes Saturday, and Israel’s hopes rest on 29-year-old Hovi Star.

05/12/2016 - 18:45
Special to The Jewish Week

The performers have arrived, rehearsals are in full flow, and Europe is gearing up for the finale of the wildly popular Eurovision Song Contest. The show, which attracts an estimated 180 million viewers a year is set to be broadcast live in the United States for the first time, with strong rumours that Justin Timberlake will be making an appearance.

Israel's Hovi Star competing in the semifinals on May 12. Thomas Hanses/Eurovision

The Orthodox Community Must Embrace Its Gay Children

08/24/2015 - 20:00

The horrifying stabbings and murder of Shira Banki at the recent Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem are in no way representative of the Orthodox Judaism I live and breathe.  Yet, that horrifying incident should give all of us in the Modern Orthodox community pause, and cause, to rethink the stance we take, and the message we send about homosexuality and LGBT Jews. It calls for a fundamental change in the way we interact with these men and women of our community— our children, our siblings, our congregants.  We must do it because it is right. And we must do it because the alternative to such a change has become too great to bear.

Orthodox Fear Repercussions From Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Supreme Court ruling sets off anxiety about lost funding, limits on free speech and labels of bigotry.

07/06/2015 - 20:00
Associate Editor

The Supreme Court decision affirming same-sex marriage as a constitutional right set off celebrations across the country, not least among Jews, many of whose Facebook photos – like the White House itself – were soon overlaid with the multi-hued stripes associated with gay rights. But while it was widely reported that Orthodox Jews continued to oppose the legal redefinition of marriage, what was less reported was how fearful the Orthodox are. Not so much from the redefinition of brides and grooms but from the redefinition of bigotry and traditional religion.

Same-sex marriage supporters celebrate in front of the Supreme Court the day of the landmark ruling. Getty Images

A Landmark Victory, And Challenge

06/30/2015 - 20:00

The remarkably rapid change in societal attitudes toward gays and lesbians, culminating in the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage this past week, is a powerful statement about the values Americans place on democracy, social inclusion and individual freedoms.

Jewish Groups March In NYC Gay Pride Parade

Post-Obergefell v. Hodges, marchers express pride in their Jewish and LGBT identities.

06/28/2015 - 20:00
Editorial Intern

Shonna Levin’s bright red shoes offset her black suit, white shirt, and wide-brimmed black hat, an outfit often worn by young men in yeshiva. The sign she held explained the combination: “For the bochur (young religious man) who lives in silence, I march with you.” 

Marchers express pride in their Jewish and LGBT identities. Talia Lakritz/JW

Homophobes Win In Indiana

A reputation for homophobia that has dogged Republicans for many years got worse this week when Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a new law protecting discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT).

His state's "Restoring Religious Freedom Act" gives businesses the right to refuse service to LGBT individuals based on religious grounds.

Joel Grey, Jewish Actor Best Known For ‘Cabaret’ Role, Comes Out At 82

01/28/2015 - 19:00

It’s no longer surprising for a prominent actor to come out publicly as gay.

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