Nehirim

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Nehirim
Formation2004; 17 years ago (2004)
FounderJay Michaelson
Founded atNew York City
Dissolved2015; 6 years ago (2015)
PurposeLGBT rights

Nehirim was a national community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) Jews, families, students and allies that was founded in 2004.[1] The organization ceased operations at the end of 2015.[2]

History[edit]

Nehirim was founded in 2004 by Jay Michaelson. He served as Executive Director until 2010, when Michael Hopkins succeeded him.[3] Rabbi Debra Kolodny assumed the role in 2013.[4] Nehirim's Board of Directors included Corey Friedlander, Rabbi Joel Alter, Rabbi Julia Watts Belser, Rabbi David Dunn Bauer, Dr. Joel Kushner, and Dr. Alyssa Finn.[5]

Nehirim means "lights" in Hebrew.[6][3] The name comes from the Hebrew word Zohar, referring to the lights of heaven and rainbow colors seen at sunset.[7] Its goal was to create and foster a more just and inclusive world based on the values of the Jewish tradition. Nehirim's primary programs were intensive weekend retreats and service programming promoting LGBT inclusion and equality.[8] It was also a member of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice organized by Catholics for Choice and the National Council of Jewish Women [9] and the National Religious Leadership Roundtable as part of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.[10]

Retreats[edit]

Nehirim retreats offered a means for LGBT Jews and their families to connect, learn, and grow together.[11] Retreats have included East Coast gatherings at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut,[8][12] a transgender gathering at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California,[13][14] student retreats at Boston University,[15][16] West Coast gatherings at the Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, California,[17] men's summer camps at the Easton Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York,[18][19] queer Jewish weekends in New York City at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan,[20] and women's retreats at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.[21]

Nehirim's first retreat for LGBT rabbis, rabbinic pastors, cantors, and students was held in 2014 in San Francisco.[22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Monteagudo, Jesse (March 3, 2012). "New Options for LGBT Jews". The Bilerico Project. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Benaim, Rachel Delia (May 20, 2015). "Jewish LGBT Group Nehirim Will Shut Down". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Ginsberg, Johanna R. (November 3, 2010). "Helping to integrate gay, Jewish identities". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  4. ^ "Meet Our Staff". Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Archived from the original on April 1, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Palevsky, Stacey (April 23, 2009). "Retreat a Guiding Light for LGBT and queer Jews". JWeekly.com. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  7. ^ Krawitz, Cole (February 20, 2007). "Sacred Sexuality: An Interview With Jay Michaelson". JVoices.com. Archived from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Nehirim Retreat Brings Gay Jews Together To Celebrate Faith And Sexuality". Huffington Post. March 8, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "Coalition for Liberty & Justice". Catholics for Choice. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  10. ^ "Pro-LGBT Jewish leaders respond to Tel Aviv attack". National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Archived from the original on August 9, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  11. ^ "Nehirim". A Wider Bridge. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  12. ^ Michaelson, Jay. "The Gifts of Difference". Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  13. ^ Tigay, Chanan (November 14, 2012). "Transgender Jews Seek Place at Table". Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  14. ^ Lum, Rebecca Rosen (October 19, 2012). "Gathering of the transgender tribe set for Berkeley". JWeekly.com. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  15. ^ Binstein, Liz (February 25, 2014). "Nehirim: The Experience of a Lifetime". Rutgers Hillel. Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  16. ^ Thai, Ian (March 1, 2013). "Student Retreat Will Celebrate Local LGBTQ Community" (PDF). The Jewish Advocate. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 23, 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  17. ^ Palevsky, Stacey (April 23, 2009). "Retreat a guiding light for LGBT and queer Jews". JWeekly.com. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  18. ^ Gerson, Merissa Nathan (November 7, 2013). "So, a Rabbi Walks Into a Bar. It's Not the Beginning of a Joke, but of a Spiritual Journey". Tablet. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  19. ^ "Camp Nehirim". Easton Mountain. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  20. ^ "Nehirim Queer Shabbaton 2013 for LGBT Jews, Friends, and Allies". Gay Cities. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  21. ^ Koenig, Leah (July 9, 2013). "Pride Interview: Alyssa Finn and Nehirim". Repair The World. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  22. ^ Marceau, Caitlin (December 10, 2014). "Nehirim Puts On First Ever Retreat for LGBT Rabbis, Cantors & Students in San Francisco". Shalom Life. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  23. ^ Himmelstein, Dimah (December 19, 2014). "At San Francisco retreat, LGBT clergy survey progress from closets to bimah". Retrieved June 12, 2020.