Welcome to the first episode of Wholly Jewish: Season 2! Hosted by Jewish performance and ritual artist Shira Kline (she/her), a.k.a. ShirLaLa, this season features interviews with LGBTQIA+ Jews from the Union for Reform Judaism's JewV'Nation Fellowship. Follow along as they share their experiences in Jewish spaces, how their queerness and their Judaism intersect, and their visions of a more inclusive and equitable Jewish community.
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What do we all have in common? We all live and balance complex and nuanced identities that when braided together, make us wholly ourselves and Wholly Jewish.
In our first season of this podcast, a project of ReformJudaism.org, we heard from 15 Jews of Color who shared their experiences, insights and how their identities enrich our vibrant Jewish community. If you haven't yet listened to those episodes, we hope you'll go back and check them out. But now we're thrilled to welcome you to the second season of Wholly Jewish, when we'll hear from a group of thoughtful, insightful Jews who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. These episodes will be hosted by Jewish performance and ritual artist Shira Kline, who you might also know as ShirLaLa. She's the co-founder of Storahtelling and Lab/Shul NYC and she's also an out performer and role model who travels with her queer and gender non-conforming band in an effort to nurture self-expression and self-love. Now she brings that energy to Wholly Jewish, speaking candidly with LGBTQIA+ Jews from the Union for Reform Judaism's JewV'Nation Fellowship.
As our Jewish communities continue to become more open and inclusive, it's vital that we listen to the real lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ Jews who make up an estimated 10 percent of North American Jewry. This season, we'll hear as they tell their stories, share their experiences and speak frankly about where the Jewish community is, where we need to be and how we can get there.
One final note before we begin. In the last few months, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in dramatic and lasting ways. So we think it's important to let you know that the interviews you'll hear this season were all recorded prior to the start of the pandemic. This means that the conversations you hear may not reflect some of the current realities we're experiencing today, but we hope that nonetheless, they resonate deeply with you as you look toward the future, informed by the past. So be sure to join us next week. We'll be kicking off Season 2 of Wholly Jewish with Eliana Rubin, a Jewish artist educator who talks with Shira about her gender identity, Jewish identity, how they intertwine, and how Jewish camp played a role in both. Tune in next week. L'hitraot!