Queer Category

The following drash/sermon was given during Yom Kippur at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. I love being Jewish. I always have. From the moment I knew I was Jewish, I found a home in the prayers, larger-than-me concepts, values and sense of community that were infused in everything we did. I was aware, however, that I was […]

this is basically a note to send you to a piece i’ve written for the latest issue of the Monthly Review on the origins of the current rise to visibility of jewish opposition to zionism. i hope you’ll read and enjoy – and if you disagree with me, argue here. the piece is online, at […]

(apologies to those who aren’t living in new york city – this is an event announcement) (it seems like there are many more radical purim extravaganzas going on all over the country, though, and i’m posting this announcement in part to encourage folks to think big and exciting for next year…) this year’s eighth-or-so edition […]

We’re in the middle of Sukkot, the festival of booths, when we live for seven days in temporary structures, in a state of transit, symbolically making our homes in a place where we don’t plan to stay permanently. And we have limited time in which to build our sukkah (if we have a place to […]

In just under two months I’ll be winging my way across the ocean (and a sea) to take up residence in Jerusalem for my first year of cantorial school. It’s exciting both to be traveling and to be a student again, as I haven’t done either in several years, and I’m lucky to be getting […]

for poetry month (why april, by the way? ‘the cruelest month’? ‘with his shoures soote’? please.), here’s the text of a talk by irena klepfisz – a fantastic poet in yiddish, english, and both at once, as well as an insightful essayist and deeply committed radical – from a 2006 conference at barnard college called “Jewish Women Changing America: Cross-Generational Conversations”. at the bottom is a poem from one of klepfisz’s books. a complete transcript of the “Changing Culture” panel that klepfisz spoke on (and the rest of the conference) is available online here.

A Torah Queeries essay on this week’s parshiyot by Marisa James 27 Adar 5767 Vayakhel-Pekudei Exodus 35:1 – 40:38 When I first read this week’s joint parshiyot, with their detailed lists of the sockets, pegs and posts that go into building the Mishkan, I could only imagine that the children of Israel had somehow ended […]

Introduction In this brief essay, I’d like to read and think through three verses of Genesis, in order to start to establish a foundation for transgender Jewish thought. In particular, to consider hierarchy and binary opposition in the Biblical pattern of creation. (Heaven opposed and superior to Earth; Sun to Moon; Adam to Eve, etc.) […]

I received an interesting email this morning. My fellow chorister Mike Finesilver has decided on what is probably the most thought-provoking resolution I’ve encountered, and now I’m having a crisis of conscience. In the changing room at the gym, I overheard two (seemingly Gay) men talking. One mentioning that he was attending a wedding of […]

Gavriel Ansara is a polycultural polyglot from an observant Jewish background with ties to several continents. He is a board member of Keshet, Boston’s Jewish GLBTQI advocacy and education organization, and founder/coordinator of Tiferet, a Keshet project designed to meet the needs of Orthodox and traditionally observant Jews who self-identify as gender and/or sexual minorities. […]