A place for Gays and Lesbians in Jewish society

April 25, 2016 by J-Wire
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The National Council of Jewish Women of Australia  NSW will hold a forum next month to discuss issues impacting on gay members of Sydney society.



The topic is “What Place is there for Gays and Lesbians in the Jewish Community?” and will be discussed at an unprecedented forum on Jewish and gay issues,

The Sydney forum will  feature Orthodox and Progressive rabbonim and three leading Jewish LGBTI activists and panelists will include Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton, Chief Minister of the Great Synagogue, Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio of Emanuel Synagogue and LGBTI activists Dawn Cohen, Justin Koonin and Brando Srot.
Koonin is president of  the Aids Council of New South Wales (ACON) which works to end HIV transmission among gay and homosexually active men and to promote the health of LGBTI people and people with HIV.  Koonin was formerly chair of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, the peak advocacy body in this state for gay and lesbian rights.

Dawn  Cohen co-founded Dayenu the Sydney Jewish gay group Dayenu and organised the first major Jewish gay float in the Mardi Gras 16 years ago She spoke on the first panel discussing these issues. Brando Srot is a psychotherapist, volunteers at ACON and is a Director of the Shalom Institute.

NCJWA NSW Steering Committee member and Immediate Past President Viki Nadel said “we are thrilled to be providing an open forum for discussion and are pleased that the event fits in with the values of NCJWA (the organisation’s National body) which supported and joined the “NO TO HOMOPHOBIA” campaign”.

The event will be moderated by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff.

Nadene Alhadeff, co-chair of the Social Justice and Status of Women committee, who has organised the event, said that “this is an exciting opportunity for the community to explore and discuss the personal, political and religious challenges facing the LGBTI members of our community in an open and supportive manner”.

The forum will take place on Sunday May 1 at NCJWA NSW Council House.


3 Responses to “A place for Gays and Lesbians in Jewish society”
  1. Michael Barnett says:

    Any society that has experienced relentless oppression will be well placed to understand that all citizens should be afforded equal dignity and rights in civil society. A more mature society will understand that this inclusion should further extend into into all areas of the community, to avoid marginalising and diminishing any segment of the community.

  2. Debbie Scholem says:

    At last. An issue that touches all the Jewish Community has brought together a pluralistic panel of respected Jews from all the branches of the one tree. May it continue.

    • Henry Herzog says:

      The blind hatred, as hatred usually is, is not too different to any form of hatred, including racism and anti-Semitism. Kids who feel and know that they’re different in their sexual orientations go through hell in our community, particular those who grow up in ultra-orthodox communities. Have a read of Eli Glasman’s book, The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew. There is no question to it, if we love our children, Jewish gays and lesbians must be included in Jewish society. It may also save some innocent lives.

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