Gender / Sexuality / Dialogue

Gender and sexuality are inseparable from Jewish thought and from interdenominational and interfaith explorations. Here are some resources on the intersection of faith, interfaith, and gender:

More materials transferring from Interfaith and Gender website soon.
This material is informed in part by “Building Abrahamic Partnerships” studies at Hartford Seminary and the Jewish Women’s Inter-Denominational Leadership Dialogue


Also, below:

Standing with Women of the Wall

An informal group in DC held a cross-community service for Rosh Chodesh Elul in solidarity with Women of the Wall. This article describes some of the dialogue required to organize the prayer event. A related prayer for solidarity and understanding, to be recited at the new moon, has also been shared through the Women of the Wall network.

Interdenominational Dialogue on God, Prayer

In March 2009, an interdenominational group of Jewish women’s groups organized a conference on Jewish Women’s Prayer attended by women and men. A follow-up conference focusing on “God” was originally planned for 2010, but that did not materialize. News will be shared if/when it develops.

Building From Common Ground

In addition to participating in explicitly “inter-denominational” efforts, I recommend another approach: Find a group that is dedicated to a particular interest that overlaps with Judaism and build from there.

For example, I learned a tremendous amount about various denominations in Judaism and the lives of Jews who practice and believe in many ways from participating for years in an on-line community formed around discussion of Jewish homeschooling. Participants include Jews who consider themselves “secular” and homeschool with little, if any, attention to “Judaism” as a subject; Jews who can only answer questions like “How do you teach holidays?” by describing their entire lifestyle; and every variation in between.

The group shares resources and concerns from many different starting points. Over my years in this on-line group, we shared joys and sorrows and efforts to find community, Jewish and otherwise, for ourselves and our children. We shared specific difficulties in education and discipline, and we shared personal struggles — from seemingly inexhaustible piles of laundry to death, divorce and depression. And, through it all, we learned from one another about varieties of Jewish lives and beliefs. We discovered commonalities and differences. We explored issues important to denominations and communities not our own.

Such a community is a rare thing — whether in person or on-line — but finding one and working within it respectfully presents amazing opportunities for interdenominational understanding. I will be forever grateful to my fellow members of “Chevra” (a yahoo group), and wish everyone success in finding at least one such group.


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