LGBTQIA Rights

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Illustration of Campers Sitting on a Log Side-By-Side

Social Dates, Gossip, and Exclusion: Combating Toxic Hookup Culture and Heteronormativity at My Jewish Camp

Talia Bloom

I'll admit that my time as a camper was sadly tainted with anxiety and self-deprecation as I tried to navigate the toxic culture, and I currently see the same feelings developing in my young campers.

Comic strip by Alison Bechdel entitled "The Rule" from her series Dykes To Watch Out For

It’s Time to Ditch the Bechdel Test–Or at Least Take It Less Seriously

Catherine Horowitz

We should not need a list of boxes to check off to tell us whether a movie is feminist.

Collage of Illustrated Figures in Front of Asexual and Aromantic Pride Flag Colored Rainbows

What "Be Fruitful and Multiply" Means for Ace and Aro Jews

Talia Bloom

Queerness, asexuality, and aromanticism don't take away our ability to fulfill the mitzvah, "Be fruitful and multiply"; in some ways, they actually open up our world.

Film still from Chantal Akerman's Je Tu Il Elle - two naked women lying down, facing each other

Chantal Akerman’s Queer Jewish Cinema

Emily-Rose Baker

Akerman’s queer, feminist, Jewish films deserve far more attention than they’ve received.

Episode 80: Toxic Hookup Culture in Jewish Youth Groups and Summer Camps

Jewish summer camps and youth movements are a time-honored tradition—tens of thousands of Jewish teens participate. But a group of young Jews is calling out what they say is a “toxic hookup culture” in many of these institutions. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Jen Richler talks with Dahlia Soussan, Ellanora Lerner and Madeline Canfield, three of the founders of Jewish Teens for Empowered Consent, about how they hope to change the culture. Please note, there are sexual references in this episode.

Film still from Kissing Jessica Stein: two women kissing

The Expansive Queerness of "Kissing Jessica Stein"

Emma Breitman

Kissing Jessica Stein flips the heteronormative script, making for a fun watch over 20 years after its release. 

Elana Moscovitch and her daughter

I Taught at A Jewish School Before I Came Out. Twenty Years Later, I Went Back.

Elana Moscovitch

This time around, I could be open about my family and my identity and not worry about derogatory comments.

Episode 73: An Orange Belongs on the Seder Plate Like...

Hard-boiled egg—check. Greens—check. Charoset, maror, shank bone—check. These are the traditional seder plate items that represent the themes of Passover. Many people have also adopted the feminist tradition of including an orange... but what does it symbolize, and how come so many people have the story wrong? In this episode of Can We Talk?, host Nahanni Rous talks with Susannah Heschel, who created the ritual in the 1980s, about the real meaning behind the orange. She also talks with her aunt and cousin, who introduced the orange to the Rous family seder.  

Ennis Bashe and the cover of their book Scheme of Sorcery.

Interview with Disabled, Non-Binary, Jewish Poet and Novelist Ennis Bashe

Jen Richler

JWA talks to Ennis Bashe about how their different identities intersect, and what they want every disabled and able-bodied person to know.

Raven Schwam-Curtis TikTok Still #2

How I Make Black Jews Visible Through the Magic of TikTok

Raven Schwam-Curtis

My TikToks educate, validate, and celebrate Black Jewish identity.

Chagall's Hommage à Apollinaire - woman and man's body merged together

This Chagall Piece Reflects My Nonbinary Gender

Anne Vetter

This Chagall piece invites me to see myself as split and whole in the same moment.

Photo of Riva Lehrer on left and cover of her book Golem Girl on right

Interview with Riva Lehrer, Artist and Author of "Golem Girl"

Jen Richler

JWA talks to artist Riva Lehrer about her recent memoir, Golem Girl, and the way her disabled, queer, and Jewish identities intersect.

Still from bat mitzvah scene of And Just Like That...Includes Charlotte, her husband, children, and officiating rabbi

How 'And Just Like That…' Reflects Bat Mitzvah History

Judith Rosenbaum

In its season finale, And Just Like That...captures how the bat mitzvah has evolved over the last century. 

Lynn Schusterman

Billionaire philanthropist Lynn Schusterman changed the landscape of the American Jewish community through her advocacy for Israel, engagement with young Jews, and pioneering funding of inclusion and equality. As Chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, her bold vision and commitment to repairing the world extended from Tulsa, OK, across the American Jewish community, to Israel and the Former Soviet Union.

Illeana Douglas as Denise Waverly in Grace of My Heart

You Probably Missed This Film When It Came out 25 Years Ago. Don’t Let That Happen Again.

Sarah Jae Leiber

This holiday season, skip the blockbusters and watch Grace Of My Heart instead.

Outlined Women Sitting in Forefront; Background of Outlined Hands Holding Protest Signs

Radical Self-Acceptance as a Jewish Lesbian Feminist

Lilly Rochlin

I’ve gathered that—to some—my presence as an openly Jewish, queer, feminist person is interpreted as a disruption that needs to be fixed.

Women with arms around each other, backs turned

Jewish Feminists, History, and the HUC Report

JWA Staff

JWA responds to the recent report on the investigation into sexual misconduct at HUC. 

Episode 66: Eye to Eye with Joan Biren (Transcript)

Episode 66: Eye to Eye with Joan Biren (Transcript)

Episode 66: Eye to Eye with Joan Biren

In 1971, photographer Joan Biren, also known as JEB, started doing something revolutionary: documenting the everyday lives of lesbians. This was an era when you could lose everything—your job, your apartment, even your kids— if people knew you were gay. Joan published her first book Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians, in 1979, and the book was reissued this year. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Judith Rosenbaum talks with Joan about her photography, and the way her Jewish, lesbian, and feminist identities have intersected throughout her life.

Lesléa Newman

Lesbian feminist writer Lesléa Newman made history in 1989 with her controversial children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies. Inspired by Newman’s friend, a lesbian mother who complained that there were no children’s books with families that looked like hers, the book sparked national controversy. Newman has written countless books for children, adolescents, and adults on homosexuality, Jewish identity, eating disorders, and AIDS.

Achy Obejas

Writer, translator, and activist Achy Obejas was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1956 and moved to the United States with her parents six years later. She is known for stories with characters and themes related to gender, queer sexuality, Cuban-ness, and Jewishness, as well as migration, displacement, and diaspora.

Aurora Levins Morales

Aurora Levins Morales is an author, artist, activist, and historian whose work as been critical to third-wave feminism, Puerto Rican and Latinx feminism, disability justice, radical Judaism, climate change activism, and grassroots. organizing.

Image of a march at Amsterdam pride: figure holding up sign that reads: "Rainbow Capitalism = Queer Erasure"

The Dangers of Rainbow Capitalism

Liana Smolover-Bord

Is corporate support during June really "Pride," or is it just commodification of queer culture to bolster capitalism?

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