North Shore Temple Emanuel
a Progressive Jewish Congregation
As social attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have undergone a sea change in North America, Western Europe and Israel, official Jewish views, among the liberal denominations at least, have changed along with them.
“For a long time before I transitioned, I had this dream of being in my body, as myself, in a beautiful clean and light and open space filled with water,” said Mel King, 29, a development manager and writer in Brooklyn. “The first time I went to the mikveh, I felt I’d walked into that dream. And I knew this was something I wanted to come back to.”
Britain’s chief rabbi published a guidebook for Orthodox Jewish schools to help them provide support for LGBT students in the Jewish community.
The guide by Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis calls for a zero-tolerance approach to homophobic or transphobic bullying, despite a biblical prohibition against homosexual acts.
When Gabe Axler and Ravit Greenberg moved to Israel from Chicago seven years ago, they banded together with other young couples to create an intentional community in the heart of Beersheva, the multiethnic unofficial capital of the Negev.
As a straight post-denominational rabbi who has advocated for women’s rights and gay rights in Jewish ritual practice, and who has done much work in the area of Jewish marriage and divorce, I think that straight couples have much to learn from gay couples when it comes to designing their wedding ceremony.