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Hen Mazzig for The Forward
I'm a gay Mizrahi Jew who supports Israel. And the left hates me.
It’s ironic. I am the embodiment of intersectionality. I’m the son of an Iraqi mother and North African Berber-Amazigh father. I grew up in an underprivileged community, a gay boy in the closet who then became an openly gay man. I identify as Jewish but secular.
From Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Shavuot begins after sundown on May 19
At the moment where all the Israelites are gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai:
All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the blare of the horn and the mountain smoking. (Exodus 20:15)
“All the people” were there. The entire community. This is also interpreted in the Rabbinic tradition to mean that all people from generations past, present, and future were present. People of all ages and societal status. People of all genders and gender identities and sexual orientations. Therefore, all those who shared in this sacred covenant between God and the Jewish people also have a place in the Jewish community of today.
Want more information on Shavuot? Check out Jvillage Network's Shavuot Guide.
By Simone Somekh for Jewcy
“We’re a minority within the minority within the minority.”
On a Friday evening of February last year, Ruben Shimonov was waiting in his friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Everything was ready for the traditional Shabbat dinner to begin: The table was set, the food ready to be served. Now, it was time for the guests to come in.
What he had prepared was not an ordinary Shabbat dinner. Through a secret Facebook group, he and his friend Ramiz Rafailov had organized their first-ever Shabbat gathering for queer Jewish 20s and 30s with Sephardic and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) backgrounds in New York.
Join us on a journey through the last 70 years to discover how Israel has become one of the most creative and innovative countries in the world. Our fascinating timeline of accomplishment is the first part in a special multimedia package we've created to celebrate Israel's 70th anniversary.
By Uzi Baruch, Arutz Sheva
IDF receives order not to ask new recruits for their opinions on LGBTs, whether women should serve in combat roles.
Israelis arriving for a personal interview at the IDF's draft office may not be asked for their opinions on female combat soldiers or the LGBT movement, IDF Ombudsman Major-General Yizhak Barik (Res.) told the IDF's Meitav Unit (Reception and Sorting Base).
By Emma Davis for Jewcy
And finding solace in Judaism.
I met Vladimir Mukhotaev, 28, at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, where he helps low-income New Yorkers access food stamps. After he provided translation for an article I was reporting, I asked him about his path from Russia to the United States. He explained that he had followed his husband to New York and had never planned to leave Russia. I was intrigued: how could he feel so warmly towards his homeland as a gay man? And what had led him to Jewish social work after he was raised Eastern Orthodox? Vladimir’s story is below in his own words.
I was born in Russia in 1989. My native city is Orenburg, which is very close to the Kazakhstan border, but I moved to Moscow when I was 10.
By Susan Minuk for CJN
Canadian Young Judaea is launching a new overnight summer camp for LGTBQ Jewish campers called Machane Lev.
Machane Lev, which will be Canada’s first Jewish camp for LGBTQ youth, will be housed at Camp Shalom in Gravenhurst, Ont., and will run from Aug. 19-26, for kids aged eight to 16 years old. Machane Lev is committed to being an inclusive Jewish summer camp that celebrates identity, encourages creativity, enhances leadership skills and evokes a love for Israel and the Jewish community. Machane Lev mean “Camp Heart” in Hebrew.
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Shavuot Yizkor Service
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