Eshel & JQ International partner
News Release: October 8, 2014
Dear JQ Community,
GAY IS AS OLD AS TIME, at least that’s what our Jewish teachings say.
  • In the Hebrew Scriptures we read that Jonathan swooned when he saw David walk into King Saul’s throne room.
  • In the Talmud we learn that a rabbi, bathing in the Jordan River, is struck by the power of a Jewish gladiator.
  • A male Jewish scholar in the 14th century shares, in elaborate fashion, his fantasy of being a woman.

These don’t sound like the stories we learned in Hebrew School. But they are part of our history and holy texts. They introduce us to a rich, queer, Jewish history that we never thought existed and they strengthen our sense of belonging.

On Tuesday, October 21st Rabbi Steve Greenberg, Executive Director of Eshel, one of our partners in the Caring for LGBTQ Jews, Families, and Allies In Need Project, will teach about these and other heroes and scoundrels at the firstEshel LGBTQ group meeting. (See below for more details.)

As JQ expands the programs and services it provides for the unique needs of our diverse community, we are excited to welcome Eshel, a New York-based organization, to Los Angeles. Here is what Co-Executive Directors, Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Miryam Kabakov, say about their groundbreaking work.“When we founded Eshel in June, 2010, it provided hope and a future for LGBTQ Jews and their families who were marginalized or made invisible in the Orthodox and religiously traditional communities. We needed an inclusive home in Judaism, a place that would welcome and honor us because of who we are and what we bring to the Jewish people. We do this through Eshel’s mission of education and advocacy, a speaker’s bureau, community gatherings, and a robust network for parents of LGBTQ children.

“What an auspicious time for us to go bi-coastal! With an office in New York, and a presence in the Midwest, we are excited to expand our services to Southern California. At Eshelwe work closely with community members who are finding their voices, restoring their sense of belonging to the tradition, and constructing a world around them. We invite you, our partners and allies, to join us!”

Here are the two Eshel events scheduled for this month. Please join us and spread the word.

First Meeting of Eshel’s Parent Group
Monday, Oct. 20th 
7:30-9:00 pm

We invite Orthodox and traditional parents and relatives of LGBTQ children to meet with Eshel’s Executive Director, Rabbi Steve Greenberg. This will be a confidential gathering for family members to discuss the challenges and joys of having an LGBTQ child in the Orthodox community.First Meeting of Eshel LGBTQ Group
Six Queer Heroes and Scoundrels (featured above)
Tuesday, Oct. 21st

7:00-9:00 pm
1632 N. Sierra Bonita Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046Rabbi Steve Greenberg will teach about six queer heroes and scoundrels. Integrating these queer characters of Jewish history, some famous, others infamous, into our understanding of Judaism helps us embrace our LGBTQ Jewish identity.

Join us for the text study and refreshments.

Please RSVP for both of these gatherings and send any questions you have about them to

As we begin a new Jewish year, Eshel and JQ International look forward to launching this new, collaborative venture in Los Angeles.

Asher Gellis,                          Rabbi Steve Greenberg,
JQ Executive Director             Eshel Co-Executive Director

As the Jewish New Year begins, please help us to continue offering high quality programs and services to you, our members. Please make a donation.