Detroit Jewish LGBT Group Talks of Empowerment

About 30 members of Jewish Detroit’s LGBT community gathered at Ferndale’s Local Kitchen and Bar to listen to how three Jews from different generations have embraced their Jewish and sexual and gender identities at NEXTGen Detroit Pride’s Sept. 14 program, “Navigating Jewish and Queer.”

Steven Davis, Jessica Leuchter, Jayson Olson, Ron Elkus and Sam Dubin

Pride co-chairs Sam Dubin, 25, of West Bloomfield and Steven Davis, 37, of Ferndale are hoping that events like this create a “new kind of Jewish family” and open dialogue of being LGBT and Jewish. They want others to know that these identities need not be mutually exclusive.

The panelists, ranging from their 50s to their teens, discussed how much has changed in terms of acceptance over the decades. With the onset of LGBT-friendly youth group chapters, Birthright trips to Israel and gay-oriented interpretations of the weekly Torah portion, they spoke of how far the Jewish community has come, yet at the same time, how far it should go to welcome LBGT Jews.

One step can be as small a gesture as placing a safe sticker or displaying a rainbow flag in the office of a synagogue or a Jewish day school.

Read the full story in the Detroit Jewish News

This is an A Wider Bridge Midwest article