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LGBTQIA Rights

Is the shul a place for political activism?

I spent last Friday night celebrating Shabbat at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass., a Reform synagogue I’d never before visited. I was in awe of the chapel’s breathtaking, brightly colored stained glass windows, and I was fascinated by Rabbi John Franken’s take on Parshat M’tzora, which drew unexpected parallels between, of all things, skin diseases and marketing (all with a Jewish bent, of course). But it was a bright green insert in the Friday night program that struck me most.

A toast to Heather!

This month, Heather turned 21.

Amanda Simpson became first transgender presidential appointee

December 31, 2009

Amanda Simpson, appointed by President Obama to the Department of Commerce, is believed to be the first transgender presidential appointee.

Lesléa Newman publishes groundbreaking children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies

December 16, 1989

Lesléa Newman’s Heather Has Two Mommies, a groundbreaking and still controversial children’s book about a little girl who grows up with lesbian moms, was published.

Elsie Frank, 1912 - 2005

My mother Elsie Frank was 70 when she began her career as an advocate. She continued for the next 23 years, going on to become a leader and then President of the Massachusetts Association for Older Americans, and a familiar figure in progressive coalitions. I have her picture above my desk at home, standing before a crowd, mike in one hand, the other holding the hand of Ed Cooper, President of the National Caucus of Black Aged.

Lani Silver, 1948 - 2009

Most of us have a standard job or freelance career. Silver's "job" was working as a passionate activist with a breathtaking list of passionate and important causes. She even listed her occupation on Facebook as an activist.

Estelle Getty, 1923 - 2008

Do I admire her because she's been described as "... evasive about her height, acknowledging only that she was under 5 feet and under 100 pounds?" Well, all the more points to Estelle Getty for being an itsy-bitsy powerhouse, but mostly I admire her for being a genuinely funny, talented woman, who never gave up on her greatest ambitions. In an industry where youth and beauty are often valued far above maturity and wit, Estelle turned the tables. She found success in her later years, cracked wise about it the whole time, and taught young women like myself a few things along the way.

Joyce Warshow, 1937 - 2007

We were honored to have Joyce Warshow as a long time member of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York City. She will be deeply missed by the many friends she left behind here. But it's not only the people who knew her who will miss her. Joyce Warshow had an enormous impact on the world; many people have benefited from her vision, her activism, her commitment to social justice.

Q&A with Bonnie Rosenbaum on Keshet's Pledge to Save Lives

Today is "Wear Purple Day" or "Spirit Day." It is a global day of remembrance for Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas, the six GLBT youth who recently took their own lives because of homophobic bullying.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "LGBTQIA Rights." (Viewed on December 26, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/lgbtqia-rights>.

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