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Aired May 4, 2023

May is National Jewish Heritage Month

When discussing the intersection of religion and LGBTQ+ identity, Judaism is generally perceived to be among the more welcoming and affirming faith traditions in the US. There are countless organizations, including Jewish Queer Youth and Eshel, working to support LGBTQ+ Jews and their families. However, the Jewish community is not monolithic, nor are the experiences of LGBTQ+ Jewish youth.

We hosted a conversation about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, May 4. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!

Article: ‘Where do I stand?’ Queer Modern Orthodox teens navigate a changing world

Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Author: Nathaniel Hain

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What, if anything, have you learned about the controversies at Yeshiva University regarding the creation of a Pride Alliance and excluding trans women from gender segregated prayer entirely? Where did you learn about them?
  2. A survey conducted by Eshel found that 74% of the 240 Orthodox synagogues and rabbis that responded were “high welcoming” and another 22% were “moderate welcome.” Do these numbers surprise you? Why or why not?
  3. What can advocates and allies do to support LGBTQ+ youth in more conservative spaces? How can we support sanctioned and unsanctioned student groups that help queer Jewish youth find support and build community?

Bonus Resources: Check out “As more states target trans Americans, Jewish LGBTQ youth need our help” by Idit Klein from Forward and these resources from Keshet and Moving Traditions.

Resources Recommended by this week’s guests: 

JQ International: JQ Helpline


Moving Traditions: Demystifying Teen Language Around Gender Resources | The Science and Power of Spirituality for Teen Mental Health | Tzelem for LGBTQ+ Teens

Philadelphia Jewish Exponent: Stand with Transgender Teens

UJA Federation of New York: COVID-19 Impact Tool | Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Adults

About Our Guests:

Eve Berger, Vice President of Partnerships, Moving Traditions

Jaimie Krass, Director of Youth Programs, Keshet

Alisha Pedowitz, Director of Teen Education, Moving Traditions

Rakhel Silverman, New York Education and Training Manager, Keshet

Something to Talk About Live is a series designed by PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality program to create conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. Each week we offer an article on LGBTQ+ topics and suggest a few questions you can use to lead a discussion with your ERG, community group, or PFLAG chapter.