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Josef Palermo, GLOE director

Josef Palermo,
Director of GLOE - The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch DCJCC

The modern American Jewish community needs help. It needs vision. It needs creativity. It needs new kinds of leadership. And LGBTQ Jews have a unique ability to address those needs, through the Hineni seminar series with openly gay Rabbi Gil Steinlauf.

In this exciting new series offered by GLOE and Adas Israel Congregation, we'll explore how to become LGBTQ leaders, doers, and game-changers, making the Jewish community a better place for all Jewish people – and the world.  RSVP now to join the first session on February 22.

For more Jewish learning this month, check out our Torah & Sexuality class focused on the empowerment of female sexuality as described in Jewish texts.

Take a look below to learn more about these programs and other events happening this month.


Hineni with Rabbi Gil SteinlaufHINENI SESSION 1:

Thursday, February 22,
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Edlavitch DCJCC

If you want to really understand Judaism, and what it means to be Jewish, you have to study Talmud. The Talmud is the sine qua non of Jewish thought, and of the Jewish way of questioning and evaluating the world. What many don’t realize is how queer the Talmud is! By queer, we mean not only a willingness to confront sexuality, but also the courage to look at the world not as insiders and power-players, but as outsiders whose very existence challenges the conventional order of things. In this seminar, we will study original Talmudic texts (in translation). We will also explore how we in the LGBTQ community can appreciate dimensions of Talmud — and Judaism itself — in ways that few others do. And with our quintessentially Jewish-Queer insight, we can change the Jewish world for the better.

Click to Get Tickets
This program is open to all people, LGBTQ and allies – Jewish and non-Jewish. No previous knowledge of Judaism or Jewish texts is required. (For accessibility/accommodation requests, please email gloe@edcjcc.org.)

Torah & Sexuality: Exploring Esther & Female Sexuality LGBTQ Family Dance


Tuesday, February 20,
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Edlavitch DCJCC

In honor of Purim, join the Edlavitch DCJCC's Director of Jewish Engagement Darya Watnick and local Jewish educator Becca Benoff on a deep dive into Jewish text to uncover more about the biblical Queen Esther—who can arguably be considered an early feminist icon—and rabbinical teachings on the empowerment of female sexuality in Judaism.

Co-sponsored by the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA).

Saturday, February 24,
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Edlavitch DCJCC 

Come out and rock the night away with your whole family! Join area LGBTQ and allied families & youth for a spring dance party featuring a kid-friendly DJ plus refreshments, games, and activities for all, including a quiet room with children’s books and crafts for those who need a momentary break from the excitement. This event will be particularly appealing to children from 2 to 9 years old.

Tickets are available online and at the door for $15/adult and $5/child.

Co-presented with Rainbow Families, the DC area’s largest network of LGBTQ-parented families.

Click to Get Tickets
Click to RSVP
Upcoming Events at the Edlavitch DCJCC 

February 11 || Inclusion ||  YPTS Volunteer with Martha's Table
Join the Your Path to Success (YPTS) group as we prepare sandwiches for Martha's Table. Come give back to your community and make a new friend!

February 13 || Author Talk || God, Faith, and the Law: How Religion Has Shaped American Values
An illuminating conversation between Jenna Weissman Joselit (Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of History at The George Washington University and author of Set in Stone: America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments) and Robert P. Jones (CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute and author of The End of White Christian America) about the values and texts that have shaped US history and culture.

March 15 || Words & Ideas || Compassion, Love, and the American Future: Rabbi Shai Held in conversation with Martha Nussbaum
Join us for a lively conversation examining the role of compassion and humanity in today’s world. The panel will feature Rabbi Shai Held, co-founder of The Hadar Institute; Martha Nussbaum, one of America’s foremost authors and philosophers; and moderator Larissa MacFarquhar, staff writer at The New Yorker.



Sunday, March 18,
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Human Rights Campaign

This Passover, join GLOE and the inspiring Abby Chava Stein, the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community (and a direct descendant of Hasidic Judaism's founder, the Baal Shem Tov), for this 11th annual event to celebrate stories of liberation through an LGBTQ lens.

Now in its eleventh year, the National Rainbow Seder is one of the nation’s largest and longest-running Passover seders for the queer Jewish community and its allies, co-presented by GLOE - The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch DCJCC and the HRC’s Religion & Faith Program. Hosted inside the Equality Center ballroom at the HRC headquarters in Washington, DC, this year’s program will feature a full Passover seder complete with a specially-commissioned haggadah (the Jewish text containing the Passover story) retelling the traditional tale of Jewish triumphs of resistance alongside the hard-fought progress made by the LGBTQ equality movement over the past decade since the National Rainbow Seder's inception.

Leading our Seder is NYC-based transgender activist, blogger, and speaker Abby Stein, the first woman—and the first openly trans woman—to be ordained by an Orthodox institution, having received her rabbinical degree in 2011, before coming out as transgender.We’ll enjoy a special Passover meal as we read our own Haggadah and perform its festive rituals with the Jewish LGBTQ community and our friends – finding inspiration from Jewish history to continue our own acts of resistance to adversity that empower and liberate our communities today.

Click to Get Tickets
Presented in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
This event is supported by Israeli House Washington הבית הישראלי בוושינגטון
and The Embassy of Israel in the United States.
(For accessibility/accommodation requests, please email gloeintern@edcjcc.org.)