Posts filed under ‘Building Queer Jewish Community’

PFLAG for Religious Jewish Families

The JCC in Manhattan is starting this new group, led by former NYC-PFLAG president Phyllis Steinberg. Spread the word!

Are you a parent with a LGBTQ child or a LGBTQ adult looking to find an uniquely Jewish, safe space to explore family acceptance, discomfort and all the complex feelings associated with this process? Are you looking for a comfortable, understanding Jewish environment to discuss LGBTQ issues that might be impacting your family dynamic? This group is welcome to all, but specifically addresses the challenges of accepting a LGBTQ child into a religious family. Parents alone, children alone, and parents and children together are all welcome.

4 times on the 1st Wednesday of each month
7:00 PM
Jan 7 – Apr 1
Free All
Location: The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St. (Program room assignments will be available at the JCC Customer Service Desk, in the lobby of the Samuel Priest Rose Building.)

For more information, or to register, please call 646-505-5708.


January 12, 2009 at 1:12 am Leave a comment

Community Wide Chanukah Party

Annual Community-Wide Chanuka Party

With special guest performer: NESHAMA CARLEBACH!
Thursday, December 25
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
LGBT Community Services Center, 208 W. 13th St. NYC
$10 ($5 if under 21)

Join over 200 old and new friends as we celebrate Chanukah with music, dancing, and holiday treats! This year we are thrilled to have famed Jewish singing star Neshama Carlebach bless us with her voice and song. Continuing the tradition of her father Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach z’tl, Neshama intends to spread the warmth, soul and love of Judaism to all Jews unconditionally. Come early, le’Chaim’s begin at 7:00, show starts at 8:30, menorah lighting at 9:15 and shmoozing will continue till 10:00. Light your inner menorah, be inspired, and make some new friends this holiday! This event is open to the entire LGBT Jewish community along with their friends, families and allies. Co-sponsored by GLYDSA, JQYouth, The JCC Mahnattan, CBST 20’s and 30’s, Gayava, The GoJC, He’bro and other GLBT Jewish groups in NYC; this is the event you don’t want to miss!

For more info, contact:

December 19, 2008 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

Join the Tirtzah Community at our Sukkot Gathering in NYC

Are you a religiously observant Jewish woman
who is lesbian, bisexual, queer or questioning?

Please join us at:


Sponsored by Tirtzah: A Community for Frum Queer Women

*When and Where?

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2008 at 4:00 PM in Manhattan – Join our e-mail listserve for location details

*Who Is Welcome?

All lesbian, bisexual or queer identified Jewish women who are Orthodox or traditionally observant… or who are on the path towards becoming more halachically observant. Feel free to bring your children.

*What Is This Event?

This chol ha’moed gathering is a chance for members of the Tirtzah community to talk, eat, enjoy each others’ company, and maybe even learn a little Torah, in a supportive and positive environment.

*What is Tirtzah?

We are a community of frum queer women who gather to celebrate and study our yiddishkeit. We are committed to the value of shleimut (wholeness) and to supporting one another in observing a meaningful,
integrated, honest and joyful Jewish life. We have a wide variety of religious backgrounds and identities, but we are all halachically-engaged observant Jews in addition to being lesbian, bisexual or queer identified. We come together to have social events, learn Torah, discuss topics relevant to our lives, and celebrate holidays. We have an active e-mail discussion group and a blog, and we hold in-person events in the New York metropolitan area. Find out more about us at

*Want to Attend?

This is a private event for members of our e-mail discussion group. If you are a frum L/B/Q woman who’d like to join us at this gathering, please join our e-mail list at for more information. Please e-mail if you need assistance or have questions.

We encourage you to RSVP to

We ask for a $5 donation to cover the costs of (kosher) snacks which we’ll be providing, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

October 7, 2008 at 2:53 pm 3 comments

Why a Lesbian Relationship is not a Cheeseburger

I have never had a cheeseburger. Not once.

They might taste good. I like cheese, and I like burgers, and it’s possible that they would be good together. I’ve heard people say so, and I’ve even lived in a country (the U.S.) where they are advertised relentlessly. Somehow, despite the influences of Pop Culture and the Secular World- I’ve managed (gasp!) not to eat milk and meat together at all.

So I find it confusing when, every once in a while, in a conversation about the place of lesbians in the orthodox world- someone mentions that there are no communities for frum jews who eat cheeseburgers. No support groups. A decent orthodox Jew has never been seen walking into shul and receiving an Aliyah with a cheeseburger in his hand. As such, they say- gay jews should not expect to be welcomed along with their partners to shul. Certainly, there is no cause for communities to support lesbians, they say.

And if the woman of my dreams was a cheeseburger- they would be right. But women are not fast food. I wonder if these people conceive of their own sexual and romantic relationships as being akin to a meal in McDonalds- a cheap food with dubious nutritional value? If so, I worry about them.

For those who have found themselves in a loving frum relationship, be they queer or straight, I’m sure that relationship is nothing like a cheeseburger. We do not seek it merely to satisfy a fleeting and exclusively physical desire, nor would jewish values allow us to do so. The way in which we are asked to relate to one another as frum people, the values of “v’ahavtah l’reiacha kamocha” (loving your fellow human as you love yourself) , gemilut chassadim (acts of lovingkindness) and “areivut” (mutual responsibility), would make it impossible. What we seek in relationship is to become “Reyyim Ahuvim”, (beloved companions) to one another, supporting each other in a life of Torah and Mitzvot. Kohelet teaches us:

“Two are better than one, as they have a good reward in their labor. For if they fall, one will raise his companion upright, and woe to the one who falls without a companion to raise him up. Also, if two lie together it will be warm for them, and for one- how will it be warm? And if one attacks him, the two will stand against him, and the three-ply string will not easily break. ” (Kohelet IV:9-12)

When I seek community with my fellow frum queer women, it is because I know that we have much to teach each other and celebrate together. Their insights, humor and camaraderie have kept me going, and strengthened me in my commitment to living a frum jewish life. When I come to my orthodox shul with my girlfriend, I am proud to share my life with someone as kind, wise, and caring as she is, and grateful to Hashem (and to our very wonderful friend- who made the shidduch) for helping us to find each other.

Posted by queeryeshivameidel.

July 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm 1 comment


I’m amazed. I was surfing the internet, when I found an article about an organization in Israel that sounded a lot like Tirtzah. Except it’s been around for years- since 2005. The organization is called Bat-Kol, and they see their mission as creating

        “a world where religious lesbians can live a life of truth and love, a life of equality and companionship, a life of self fulfillment and acceptance in the religious society. Achieving Bat-kol’s goals is essential not only for religious lesbians but for all the religious community as well, to create a better society, with justice, kindness, and equality.”

      They have some amazing articles, blog entries, event listings and community resources. It’s mostly in hebrew, but for those of us who can understand hebrew- this is an amazing resource for all of us. I am so inspired by their work to support each other, learn together, play basketball together, support the mothers of orthodox gays and lesbians, and educate the public about the very real issues that we all face. I think it’s a model for us, as we start out, to work towards.

     Yashar Kochachen!!

Posted by:queeryeshivameidel


June 20, 2008 at 12:50 pm 2 comments

My Queer Shidduch

I am excited to be heading off to the East Coast Nehirim retreat on Friday. It’s hard to believe it was just a year ago that I stood at the last retreat, surrounded by a small group of frum lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews as they offered me a bracha for a shidduch. This was a turning point in my journey towards becoming more religious. That weekend in Connecticut helped me see that there were possibilities, that I didn’t have to choose between being who I am (a woman who loves women) and pursuing G-d, Torah and Jewish community. At a retreat that consisted largely of LGBT Jews who took less halachically oriented approaches to Judaism than I do, a group of attendees who were interested in halacha came together and formed deep connections that have turned into friendships over the last year. The bond that is formed when people come together who are committed to loving and accepting ourselves as queer Jews while pursuing Torah and yiddishkeit is a powerful one. Many of us don’t get to connect with others who are like us outside of such retreats, or perhaps the internet. The isolation can be torturous and crazy-making. I felt tears rushing into my eyes at the end of the weekend when these new friends offered me prayers that I should meet someone who I could build a healthy, happy relationship with. I had believed that if expecting to meet a Jewish woman was asking a lot, even daring to hope to meet a frum Jewish woman who shared my love for Judaism was unrealistic and impossible. I was expecting too much, I thought. My experiences with online dating only furthered this impression, as I found most lesbian women to be very intimidated by, or hurt by, religion. So imagine my surprise when not much more than a month after I received this bracha, a woman came into my life who I couldn’t have dreamed up. An Orthodox, kind, beautiful woman who has since become my partner. Baruch Hashem, this year I get to bring her to the retreat where I first began to integrate the disparate parts of my life. It is the closing of a beautifully full circle. I am truly blessed.

Posted by queerbasyisroel.

May 28, 2008 at 5:00 am 4 comments

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About Tirtzah

We are a community of frum queer women who gather to celebrate and study our yiddishkeit. We are committed to the value of shleimut (wholeness) and to supporting one another in observing a meaningful, integrated, honest and joyful Jewish life.