Earlier this month, Vanity Fair released its July issue cover story, headlined “Call me Caitlyn.” The preview, which included photos of Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce), resulted in both positive and negative feedback on the internet. Caitlyn’s gender identity had been speculated by the media for months, with Caitlyn coming out as transgender in an interview with Diane Sawyer in
April. Caitlyn’s decision to come out publicly and visibly should be applauded, and her story in Vanity Fair is especially timely as we celebrate LGBT Pride Month. Caitlyn’s transition has helped...Read More
This month, we celebrate LGBT Pride, which occurs every year in June. This month is my fifth year celebrating Pride Month as an out gay man, and this year I have a lot to be proud of.
I am proud of our country and the direction we’re heading in. When I first celebrated Pride Month in June 2011, the military still banned gay and lesbian service members from serving openly; marriage was still defined as only between a man and a woman by the federal government; and employees of federal contractors and subcontractors had to fear losing their jobs because of their sexual orientation or...Read More
When I discovered that this week’s parashah (Torah portion) would be Acharei Mot/K'doshim, which includes the Holiness Code, the irony was not lost on me. Here I was, the one openly gay male staff member at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), asked to give a d’var Torah on a parashah that includes one of the Biblical verses most often quoted by people who justify their homophobia with religion: Leviticus 18:22, “V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee," "do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman it is an abomination.”
Once I got past the irony of...Read More
When I left for college my freshman year, I was nervous about exploring a new Jewish community. However, I immediately felt at home as I walked into my university’s Hillel’s Conservative Friday night services and saw the Siddur Sim Shalom, the prayer book I had grown up with. The siddur offered me a sense of comfort and familiarity in an otherwise completely new setting.
When I began exploring humanistic Judaism, the humanistic Sh'ma, ("Sh'ma Yisrael Echad Ameinu, Echad Adam – hear Israel, our people is one, humanity is one") allowed me to connect my humanistic Jewish values in a...Read More
The year was 1990, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ ad hoc committee on “Homosexuality and the Rabbinate” released a report affirming the decision of the Reform Jewish seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), to admit openly gay and lesbian students earlier that year. Twenty five years later – on Monday, March 16, 2015 – the CCAR installed Rabbi Denise Eger as its first openly gay president, marking an historical moment for the governing body of North American Reform rabbis.
Rabbi Eger’s installation has made national news, including a...Read More
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