B’nai Brith Magazine devoted the cover story of its summer issue to examining the evolution of the role LGTBQ individuals play in Jewish life over the past 25 years or so. The incisive piece by Uriel Heilman concludes that – like society as a whole – a great deal of progress has been made, particularly in the non-Orthodox community. But more work needs to be done to eliminate all barriers and reach a place of total inclusion.
The article features interviews with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, RRC’ 90, religious leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York, and Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
“I am very frequently the only woman in the room when I am at Jewish religious gatherings, and often the only lesbian,” Rabbi Waxman told Heilman. “Liberal communities need to imagine they can be led by individuals other than straight white men. There’s a tremendous pool of outstanding, moral, principled creative leaders who don’t fit into that category and have what to offer from that experience. Come find us.”