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Germany celebrates first gay marriages

Posted on October 16th, 2017
By DAVID COURBET for The Times of Israel



First of roughly 94,000 same-sex couples begin exchanging vows, after change of heart by Chancellor Angela Merkel allows measure to pass parliament



Two German men made history Sunday by saying “I do,” and becoming the first same-sex couple to marry after decades of struggle, but campaigners say the battle for equal rights isn’t over.


Wedding bells rang out in Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover and other German cities, where local authorities have exceptionally opened their doors on a Sunday, allowing weddings on the day the law comes into effect.


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Israeli government to amend adoption law to give same-sex couples equal rights

Posted on October 9th, 2017
JTA


The Israeli government said it would amend adoption law in the country to give same-sex couples equal rights.

The state on Sunday made the announcement during a hearing at the Supreme Court in response to a petition regarding adoption by same-sex and common-law couples filed by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, with the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform movement, against the Social Affairs Ministry and the attorney general.

The state said it would introduce the new legislation by June 2018. The agreement comes less than a month after the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs reversed its opposition to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country. The government had initially told the court that given the “reality of Israeli society,” same-sex parents put an “additional burden” on their adopted children.

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A Moonstone for the Feast of Tabernacles: Celebrating Sukkot as a part of a Jewish and Queer Community

Posted on October 2nd, 2017
BY LIZ WALBER for myjewishlearning.com 


The theory of a sukkah feels queer to me – a temporary, self-built space for the purpose of shelter, but also importantly with an open roof for a view of the stars. It reminds me of a garden witch, a midwife, an herbalist lesbian pulling herbs from her garden to dry and dangle from the door of her room. It reminds me of alternative histories, and sets of knowledge – my friends sitting around a coffee table analyzing each other’s birth charts, brewing each other rose bud tea for aching hearts, or mixing personalized lotions and sugar scrubs with lavender for soft skin. LGBT communities, LGBT families, are temporary structures for safety like the sukkah itself. They’re built out of necessity, with open roofs and a mystical air. They’re comforting, they’re placeless, and they’re adaptable.

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Hasidic Mother Who Came Out As Lesbian Regains Custody Of Her Children

Posted on September 25th, 2017
By JTA 


A Hasidic mother in Brooklyn who lost custody of her three children after coming out as a lesbian regained custody after more than two years of appeals.

Chavie Weisberger must continue to keep a kosher home and send her kids to Hasidic schools, the appeals court in the New York borough ruled. Their father will have weekend visitation and extra visitation on Jewish holidays, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

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I’m a Queer Jew Living in Germany. I feel Safer Here Than in the US

Posted on September 18th, 2017
By Sara Shafer for HeyAlma

 

After I moved to Germany in March 2015, friends on both sides of the pond asked me if I was scared of my new home.

Scared? Why should I be scared? Oh, right. Because I’m Jewish and, as one of my former students put it, “pur-tay queer.” Yes, there are neo-Nazis in Germany, but they don’t have enough political power to be a problem, and they seem to do a good job of making themselves appear silly. I’m also a big girl. I stand 6’1’’ and am a heavily tattooed and pierced former competitive weightlifter. So, while being Jewish and a gender non-conformist would have been two strikes against me during the Holocaust, I don’t think I am going to be the first person the skinheads in Germany would mess with in 2017.

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Did You Know...?

MAJYK 2017 is coming to Beth El?  

The Mid-Atlantic Jr. Youth Kallah will be hosted by Beth El on December 15-17 to experience a taste of NFTY and learn about its traditions and lingo.  In order to make this a success we need to find host families for 150-200 middle schoolers.  Please contact our Youth Advisors, Nori and Marissa, to become a host family!

 

Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?

With seed money from Cantor Jason Kaufman's concert, the JCCNV was able to start a fund with all proceeds going towards a new playground for the preschool.  If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground."  If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!

 

Lifelong Learning

Wednesdays during the school year @ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects

 

ALIVE!

For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.

 

Beth El House

For more information go to https://www.bethelhebrew.org/community/beth-el-house

Beth El House enables formerly homeless families to work toward self-sufficiency and confidence.

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Upcoming Events

 

Wednesday, October 18

7:00 PM

Life Long Learning

Seth Kibel

 

Sunday, October 22

10:15 AM

Inclusion Meeting


Tuesday, October 24 & Wednesday, October 25

10:00 AM

Book Sorting

 

Wednesday, October 25

6:00 PM **DURING RELIGIOUS SCHOOL

Book Sorting

 

Sunday, October 29

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

WRJ/Brandeis BOOK & AUTHOR EVENT

Click above for more information

 

Saturday, December 2

7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Cantor's Concert "Songs to Change the World"

Click above for more information

 


There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

the full calendar