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Shabbat Nachamu – Guest Speaker
August 5, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
For You Too Were a Stranger: Becoming an Ally to the LGBTQ Community
In our current times, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Jews need to know that their communities will include and protect them. But how do we become better allies? Why is it important? Keshet’s National Director of Education and Training, Daniel Bahner, will share his story of growing up an effeminate, closeted child in a Conservative synagogue in Cincinnati, Ohio, and how his experiences both inside and outside the Jewish community taught him how to be a better ally to all marginalized communities. We will also explore the ways in which our own Jewish tradition reminds us that we too were strangers in a strange land who are called upon to widen our tent and discuss ways in which all of us can be more sensitive and inclusive of our LGBTQ friends and family.
Daniel Bahner, who grew up as a closeted gay man in a small Conservative synagogue outside of Cincinnati, Ohio personally knows the importance of creating welcoming and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ individuals, especially young people.. While he was not able to be out as a child for the sake of his own safety, his exploration of his Jewish identity instill in him many of the values that would serve as the foundation for the work he does as Keshet’s National Director of Education and Training. With Keshet, Daniel educates Jewish communities around the country on the lives and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals, why including LGBTQ individuals is essential to creating authentic Jewish communities, as well as recommending those concrete steps Jewish communities can take to make themselves more inclusive of LGBTQ Jews in their community.