GLOE is the Kurlander Program for 
BTQ Outreach & Engagement


Connecting GLBTQ Jews at the Edlavitch DCJCC

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Jewish teaching provides a great framework for Jewish living — and you'd be surprised by how concepts written about thousands of years ago apply to today's queer community.

Josef Palermo, director of GLOE

Director, GLOE - The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement

This month, we celebrate Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees, with the famous "Marijuana Reform" Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn, whose own understanding of the Jewish commandment to ease suffering now guides his work as the owner of DC's first family-owned medical cannabis dispensary.

And later this month, we consider Jewish perspectives on self-defense in presenting a new monthly seminar with Capital MMA & Elite Fitness, teaching the queer community principles of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for protecting ourselves.

But don't forget about Purim next month on March 11!  I'm excited to announce PRIDE OF PURIM: A Queer Masquerade.  All this and more, below.


Tu B'Shpot: The Jewish Case for Medical Cannabis JIU-JITSU 600X300.jpg

Saturday, February 18,
2:00–4:00 pm

Takoma Wellness Center
(one block from Takoma Metro) 

Though he’s now known by some as the “Marijuana Reform Rabbi” for his advocacy work on patients’ medical access to cannabis, Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn and his wife spent a lot of the '80s and '90s at the frontlines of HIV/AIDS activism, providing pastoral care and services to LGBTQ men and women being affected by the epidemic. His interpretation of the Jewish commandment to relieve suffering has long guided his work, and has stuck with him in his new role as a founder of the Takoma Wellness Center, one of DC’s legally operating medical marijuana dispensaries.

In honor of Tu B’Shevat (the Jewish New Year for Trees), Rabbi Kahn has graciously agreed to a conversation with the local queer Jewish community focused on his rabbinical understanding of Jewish teaching toward cannabis and advocating for medical access to ease suffering. He will also lead a tour of his facility, and answer questions related to enrolling in the District of Columbia’s medical marijuana program.


Sunday, February 26,
1:30–4:30 pm
Edlavitch DCJCC
Fitness Center 

Throughout the history of Judaism, various scholars have drawn slightly different lessons about self-defense from the Torah, but they have all agreed with the core principle that self-defense is permissible in cases of necessity.

Recently, many in the queer and Jewish (and especially the queer Jewish) communities have expressed feeling increased threats to their personal safety — in response to an overwhelming need, GLOE is launching a new monthly seminar series in partnership with Capital MMA that offers an introduction to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self-defense, starting Sunday, February 26 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm at the EDCJCC fitness center.

Jay Ferrari, head instructor of Capital MMA in Takoma, is conducting this recurring seminar with a fixed curriculum that covers basic techniques and strategies for protecting yourself; attendees should wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Co-presented with Capital MMA & Elite Fitness and The Coven.

Click to Get Tickets
Click to RSVP

Upcoming Events at the EDCJCC

February 11 || Jewish Life || Saturday Salon: A Monthly Shabbat Lunch & Learn
Explore concepts in modern American Jewish life through relevant texts - both Jewish and others - to make your connection to these "big ideas" personally meaningful. The topic for January is Hope.  Presented in partnership with Bet Mishpachah.

February 12 || Classes || Religious Diversity & Human Dignity: The Possibilities and Challenges of Interreligious Engagement
We live in one of the most religiously diverse societies in the history of humankind. Join our team of scholar-practitioners from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions as we explore vital questions relating to the intersection of personal identity, communal formation and civic life. 

February 15 || Theater J || Season premiere of The How and the Why
By the writer of hit TV shows In Treatment and The Affair, this exhilarating and keenly perceptive play about science, family, and survival of the fittest grapples with the choices faced by women of every generation. Emotion and evolution collide on the eve of a prestigious conference when an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist wrestles for the truth with an established leader in the field. The air crackles between the eminent professor and the maverick graduate student, whose theories might just change the way we regard sex itself.


Join GLOE and our friends The Coven for a celebration of Purim, the Jewish holiday that celebrates costumes, Queen Esther, and concepts of ve’nahafoch hu (things turned on their head), ad deloyada (not being able to distinguish between opposite notions), and transforming our understanding of things like gender by putting them into different perspectives.

Grab a mask or find a costume and hit the dance floor at this all-night masquerade featuring DJ Lady Ryan and performances of the Megillah directed by local queer nightlife icon Pussy Noir. Get your tickets now: