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    Transgender Jews seek wider acceptance, understanding

    By Ron Kaplan, The Jewish Chronicle correspondent - November 30, 2011

    Transgender and transsexual Jews face significant challenges in gaining acceptance from the Jewish community and in navigating through life in general.  

    Wheeling, W.Va., native and author Noach Dzmura illustrated these challenges in a thought-provoking discussion sponsored by the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh and Bet Tikvah. [Read Full Story]


    Once Upon a Gay: A Jewish Journey Through the Ex-Gay Movement

    By Jayson Littman, Huffington Post - November 21, 2011

    Many people are surprised when I tell them I voluntarily entered reparative therapy at the age of 21 without pressure from family or religious leaders. I usually respond by telling them that during that time in my life, it wasn't a choice between coming out and conversion therapy; rather, it was a choice between conversion therapy and not wanting to live anymore.

    After completing yeshiva high school and attending three years of black-hat-style yeshiva in Israel and Brooklyn, I returned to my parents' home knowing I had feelings for other men. So I did what any other religious Jewish boy in his early 20s might do: I called the local shadchan (matchmaker) to let her know I was finally ready to get married. [Read Full Story]


    Gay Chutzpah: An LGBT Synagogue Thrives

    By Susan Heking, Religion Dispatches Magazine - September 29, 2011

    In 1973, a group of Jewish gay people—mostly men—gathered in New York City and created what eventually became Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. In the decades since then, the organization has burgeoned, and been a leader both within Judaism and within the LGBTQ movement.

    The congregation is also known to some—perhaps many—because of an ethnography undertaken by an Israeli anthropologist who specialized in migration, but became intrigued with the congregation when in New York. Moshe Shokeid, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University, wrote A Gay Synagogue in New York, a study based on participant observation and interviews with congregants in 1989. [Read Full Story]


    Jews to come together to march in Atlanta Pride parade for first time

    By Dyana Bagby, GA Voice - September 7, 2011

    Atlanta's Jewish community is coming together the day after Yom Kippur to march for the first time in the Atlanta Pride parade — and will also be treated to a meet-and-greet with pop artist Ari Gold, who will be performing at the fest.

    Atlanta Pride is set for Oct. 8-9 in the park with the parade that attracts tens of thousands of people each year on Oct. 9. [Read Full Story]

    Photo of Rabbi Josh Lesser of Congregation Bet Haverim (GA Voice file photo)

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