Jay Michaelson

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Jay Michaelson (born 1971) is a writer and LGBT activist in the USA. His work involves spirituality, Judaism, sexuality, and law.[1] He is currently a contributing editor to The Forward,[2] newspaper, and a columnist at the The Daily Beast[3] Michaelson has twice won the New York Society for Professional Journalists award for opinion writing, most recently in 2014.[4] Michaelson is Jewish and openly gay and often works in the intersecting fields of LGBT people and Jewish traditions.[5]

Michaelson has held teaching positions at Chicago Theological Seminary, Boston University, Yale University, and the City College of New York with a focus on religion, law, and ethics. His 1998 Stanford Environmental Law Journal article[6][7] on geoengineering and climate change was described as "seminal" by Salon Magazine[8] and he is regarded as an early advocate of the policy.[9]

Michaelson was listed in the Forward 50 list of influential American Jews in 2009. He founded Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture in 2002 and Nehirim, an LGBT Jewish organization, in 2004. In 2009, his essay entitled "How I'm Losing My Love for Israel" generated substantial controversy in the Jewish world, including responses [10] from Daniel Gordis,[11] and Jonathan Sarna,.[12] Michaelson holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from Hebrew University, and was ordained as a rabbi in 2013.

In 2013, Michaelson wrote a long-form report on the religious exemptions movement,[13] which gained prominence a year later in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case. He has been a significant public voice on the issue, appearing on NPR[14] and writing in Reuters[15] and other publications.


God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice.[16] Michaelson's first book, God In Your Body, discusses an embodied path to spirituality, culling from mystical and traditional Jewish traditions, as well as Buddhism and meditation.[17]

Another Word for Sky is a book of poetry reflects on many of the issues explored in his previous work, including spirituality, mysticism, materialism, and sexuality.[18] One reviewer stated that "Michaelson sustains an intimate tonality that frames even obtuse sketches of people and place, but always with economy and concrete imagery."[19]

Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism. his third book is a work of theology from the so-called "New Jewish Culture".[20]

God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality. his fourth book argues that the preponderance of Christian and Jewish values support, rather than oppose, full equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons.[21] It was a finalist for a 2012 Lambda Literary Award.[22]

Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment, his fifth book, is about the ways in which Buddhist meditation have entered the American mainstream.[23]


Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture. Michaelson was the founding editor of Zeek[24] which he founded in 2002.

Nehirim. Nehirim[25] is a national LGBT Jewish organization Michaelson founded in 2004.[26]