JEWISH QUEER YOUTH
Jewish Queer Youth (JQY) is a nonprofit organization supporting LGBTQ Jews with past or present affiliation with Orthodox Judaism. This demographic is often isolated, oppressed, and silenced by their religious communities; many are forced to choose between remaining in the closet or leaving their faith. JQY's mission is to address the unique needs of these individuals by creating and strengthening an affirming community that fosters exploration of intersecting identities. Through support and social programming, JQY addresses the needs of this unique population, whose members can begin to understand ways in which their Jewish and LGBTQ identities can coexist. JQY also engages in advocacy and educational efforts, bringing issues faced by the LGBTQ Jewish community to light for a broader audience.
I am the co-director of JQY Women's* Programming and I am a social worker in the JQY Teen Program. In these spaces I facilitate support groups, plan and implement events and social gatherings, participate in one on one coffee meet-ups, create ritual programming, and advocate with, and on behalf of, our members and the broader Jewish LGBTQ community. I often combine social work techniques and design tactics to creatively and effectively accomplish this work.
*While we use the term 'women' we use it loosely. All who feel they belong in this space belong, regardless of gender identity or expression.