Debra Kolodny

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Debra Kolodny is a bisexual rights activist, congregational rabbi and Executive Director of Nehirim.[1][2] She came out as bisexual in 1984.[3] She edited the first anthology by bisexual people of faith, Blessed Bi Spirit,to which she contributed "Hear, I Pray You, This Dream Which I Have Dreamed," about Jewish identity and bisexuality.[2][4] She was the National Coordinator of BiNet USA for five years and facilitator of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's National Religious Leadership Roundtable from 1998 until 2004.[5][6] She has also been interviewed by several major news outlets for stories on bisexuality, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Toronto Globe and Mail.[5]

Debra Kolodny joined Pnai Or, Portland’s Jewish Renewal congregation, as its rabbi in September 2011. Before moving to Portland she served for 9 years as the Executive Director of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Debra also served the northern Virginia community of Shoreshim for four years, was a lay leader at Fabrangen in Washington DC for 13 years and was the founder and spiritual leader of the Pnai HaSadeh learning minyan for 5 years. In March 2013 Debra began to split her time between P’nai Or and Nehirim, a national community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews, families, and allies, committed to a more just and inclusive world, where she serves as Executive Director.[7]

She is listed in the Bisexuality-Aware Professionals Directory under the category of "Pastoral / Religious."[8]


  1. ^ "P'nai Or hires new rabbi". The Jewish Review. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  2. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America: Women and religion ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  3. ^ "Nehirim Puts On First Ever Retreat for LGBT Rabbis, Cantors & Students in San Francisco". Shalom Life. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25.
  4. ^ Blessed bi spirit : bisexual people of faith. Kolodny, Debra R. New York: Continuum. 2000. ISBN 0826412319. OCLC 43050030.
  5. ^ a b "Debra Kolodny • Profile • LGBT-RAN". Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  7. ^ "Meet Our Staff". Nehirim. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  8. ^ "Pastoral / Religious - Reverends, Rabbis, Priestesses, Pastoral Counselors..." Bisexuality-Aware Professionals Directory. Retrieved January 3, 2015.