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2012: Connie and Ruthie Scholar-In-Residence: Jay Michaelson

Join Connie and Ruthie Scholars in Residence Jay Michaelson, founder of Nehirim, for a weekend of learning.

God vs. Gay? How to Make the Religious Case FOR Equality

Religious people should support equality for gays and lesbians not despite religion — but because of it.  So writes Jay Michaelson in his new bestselling book "God vs. Gay?  The Religious Case for Equality" (Beacon). And many of us may feel similarly.  But have you ever felt that talking with those who disagree can be like talking to a wall -- an angry, hateful wall? Is there a better way?

You bet there is.  We can have a more productive conversation than a shouting match about Leviticus, and in this evening discussion, we'll explore some ways to do that.

Friday, March 16th , following services
Location: Chelsea Sanctuary

Beyond Leviticus: Queering God, Torah, and Israel

Progressive Jews are beyond “it’s okay to be gay” and have begun asking more interesting questions about the intersections of Judaism with queer sexualities and genders.  Are there distinctively queer voices and perspectives which are beginning to enrich the Jewish conversation, much as women’s voices have done over the last generation?  What are some of the ways to ‘queer’ Jewish theological categories such as God, Torah, and Israel?

Saturday, March 17th , 1:00pm (following Shabbat Morning Services, Traditional Egalitarian Format & Kiddush Lunch)
Location: Bethune St. Sanctuary


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Jay Michaelson  is the author of three books and two hundred articles on the intersections of religion, Jewish life, law, and sexuality.  He is a contributing editor the Forward, associate editor of Religion Dispatches, and founding editor of Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture.  In 2009, Jay was included on the Forward 50 list “of the men and women leading the American Jewish community into the 21st century,” and in 2010 he won the New York Society of Professional Journalists’ award for best feature writing based on his articles about the growing gap between American Jews and Israel.

Jay is also the founder of Nehirim, the leading national provider of community programming for gay and lesbian Jews, and his work on behalf of sexual minorities in religious communities has been covered on CNN, NPR, and in the New York Times. His most recent book, God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon, 2011) was an bestseller.

Jay holds a PhD in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a J.D. from Yale and a B.A. Magna Cum Laude from Columbia.  He has held teaching positions at Boston University Law School, City College, and Yale University, and has led programs for the Wexner Foundation, the Israeli consulate in San Francisco, and dozens of synagogues around the country. He lives outside of New York City.

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