Every individual is created in God’s image and demands full dignity and respect. And yet, so often, our actions or inactions marginalize, exclude, and push away others.This is particularly true in the case of the LGBTQ+ members of our community. Jews who identify as LGBTQ+ get repeated signals, both implicit and explicit, that they are not wanted in the Orthodox community.

This is intolerable and must change.

Our LGBTQ+ Community Initiatives Project

We at YCT have a heightened responsibility to address this urgent issue. Our rabbis are regularly fielding pastoral, communal, and halakhic questions from their community’s LGBTQ+ members and turning to us for guidance and support. And as an institution, we have had our own challenges in this area and the need to do better pushes us forward in this work.

It is for this reason that in September 2022, YCT launched its LGBTQ+ Community Initiatives project. This project focuses on three areas:

  1. Running programs and panels in partnering communities to help them become more aware of and sensitive to its LGBTQ+ members and their lived realities;
  2. Teaching Torah and developing resources for rabbis and their communities, including guidance from Jewish leaders who have made meaningful steps forward;
  3. Advancing the state of the halakhic discourse in these matters.

David Pernick serves as Director of LGBTQ+ Community Initiatives and oversees and drives these efforts.

To support these efforts, get involved, or find out more, please email David Pernick at dpernick@yctorah.org.

Organizations

Eshel – www.eshelonline.org

JQY – www.jqyouth.org

LGBTQ Chabad – facebook.com/lgbtqchabad/

Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network – www.smqn.org/

Kesher Families – www.kesherfamilies.org

Havruta –  havruta.org.il (Hebrew)

Kamokha – www.kamoha.org.il (Hebrew)

The Trevor Project – www.thetrevorproject.org

Comprehensive list, national and international – https://www.jqyouth.org/lgbtq-jewish-orgs/

Organizations

  • Eshel – www.eshelonline.org – Eshel’s mission is to create a future for Orthodox lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and their families. Through its innovative and culturally sensitive programming, Eshel works with each individual, family, and community in creating a place for their LGBTQ members. Eshel envisions a world where Orthodox LGBTQ individuals can live out their lives in the Orthodox communities of their choice.
  • JQY – www.jqyouth.org – JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) is a nonprofit organization that supports and empowers LGBTQ Jewish youth with a special focus on teens and young adults from Orthodox, Chassidic, and Sephardi/Mizrahi communities. JQY fights to ensure the emotional and physical health and safety of this population. Their goal is for all these individuals to know: You are a valued member of the Jewish community and you are not alone.
  • LGBTQ Chabad – www.facebook.com/lgbtqchabad – A FB page for awareness and conversations about LGBTQ people coming from Chabad (not affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement.)
  • Sephardic Mizrahi Q Network – www.smqn.org – an innovative grassroots movement that is committed to building a vibrant, enriching, and supportive community for an often-overlooked segment of the Jewish world: LGBTQ+ Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.
  • Kesher Families – www.kesherfamilies.org – Kesher’s goal is to help families stay connected to each other – parent to child, sibling to sibling, and grandparent to grandchild – by providing support and guidance for family members of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ in the Orthodox Jewish community
  • Havruta –  havruta.org.il (Hebrew), Serving Orthodox and traditional LGBTQ Jews in Israel.
  • Kamokha – www.kamoha.org.il -(Hebrew) Website and community or gay, observant Jews,living in Israel
  • The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. Trevor Helpline: 1-866-488-7386
  • Comprehensive list, national and international – www.jqyouth.org/lgbtq-jewish-orgs

For Schools: Guides & Pledges

Torah Resources – Gay Jews

Torah Resources – Trans & Queer Jews

Recommended Videos

Video, LGBTQ+

Eshel: Take the Pledge

Video, LGBTQ+

LGBTQ Jews and the Orthodox Community: Where Things Stand and Where They’re Going

Video, LGBTQ+

JOFA Panel Discussion of Marry Me However

Video, LGBTQ+

Marry Me However Trailer

LGBTQ+ News at YCT