North American Organizations


Eshel-Featured-1Eshel works to build understanding and support for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in traditional Jewish communities.  Eshel takes its name from the אשׁל אברהם, Eshel Avraham, the tamarisk tree under which Avraham Avinu would welcome wayfarers who came from all directions seeking respite.
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Eshel is a place of SHELTER for Orthodox, frum, and other traditional LGBT Jews seeking to maintain their Jewish observance and find meaningful religious community.  We also welcome all those who are formerly Orthodox, “Orthodox-curious,” or otherwise interested in maintaining a connection to traditional Judaism as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender Jews. Eshel helps traditional communities to become more welcoming, to address the emotional and mental-health needs of their LGBT  members while maintaining their commitments to halacha. It also serves as a gathering place for traditional communities to share information, learn from one another, and keep families and communities together.

Eshel’s work is inspired by the recent statement of principles, now signed by over 200 Orthodox rabbis, calling for welcoming gays and lesbians as full members of Orthodox communities.  Our work is one response to this historic statement.


Goldilocks and the three Orthodoxies (Australian Jewish News / June 18, 2017)
JVP Sabotages, Bullies and Harasses LGBTQ Jewish Youth at Celebrate Israel Parade (Israellycool / June 7, 2017)
Can Gay and Lesbian Teens Find a Home in Orthodoxy? (Jewish Journal / May 17, 2017)
Support Group Helps Orthodox Parents of Gay Children Out of the Closet (The Times of Israel / May 4, 2017)
LGBT Kids Need ‘Support, Love and Acceptance’ (Cleveland Jewish News / December 8, 2016)
The Pledge (Jewish Journal / September 29, 2016)
Workshop aims to change Orthodox LGBTQ conversation (Jewish Journal / September 21, 2016)
Coming Out in the Orthodox Community (A Wider Bridge / June 23, 2016)
Orthodox Shuls Host LGBT Event, Amid Row (The New York Jewish Week / June 7, 2016)
LGBT Inclusion: A Quest For Dignity(New York Jewish Week / May 26, 2016)
Orthodox Parents of LGBT Children Seek Communities that Care (JTA / April 25, 2016)
Coming Out of the Parents’ Closet (New Jersey Jewish Standard / April 18, 2016)
Despite Gains For LGBT Jews, Frum Families Still Feeling Alienated (The Jewish Week / April 5, 2015)
LGBT Jews Celebrate Hight Holy Days (HRC / September 14, 2015)
Out in the Open (Baltimore Jewish Times / April 16, 2015)
Out, Proud, and Kinda Loud at Yeshiva University (Tablet / March 17, 2015)
Why Obama Must Act on LGBT Rights Overseas (Sun Senitel / October 27, 2014)
How Orthodox Jews’ Minds On Gay Rights Changed (Moment Magazine / September 5, 2014)
Jewish parents of LGBT children meet (Washington Blade / September 10, 2014)
Religious Support Marches Forward (The Advocate / September 5, 2014)
Young, Orthodox and Openly Gay (Ha’aretz / June 8, 2014)
Celebrate Israel with a Big Tent (A Wider Bridge / June 2, 2014)
The LGBT Cluster in the Celebrate Israel Parade (A Wider Bridge / May 20, 2014)
At Eshel, We Are Hopeful (The Jewish Week, April 10, 2014)
Orthodox Parents Navigate Their Own Coming Out (Tablet / March 14, 2014)
Don’t Exclude Gay Orthodox Children (The Jewish Exponent / February 19, 2014)
Orthodox, Gay and Out of the Closet (Algemeiner / January 28, 2014)
A Retreat for Orthodox LGBT Jews (Eshel Online / December 3, 2013)
Israel Engagement and the LGBT Jews: A Conversation (A Wider Bridge / October 18, 2013)
Gay Orthodox and Outspoken (The Jewish Daily Forward / August 14, 2013)
Orthodox Jewish Retreat in Wisconsin Dells Shows Growing Acceptance of LGBT Jews (Wisconsin Gazette / July 27, 2013)
For LGBT Orthodox Jews, Growth of Social Media Creates a Safe Space Online (Tablet / June 26, 2013)
Eshel to sponsor retreat for LGBT Orthodox Jews in Midwest (Windy City Times / June 20, 2013)
LGBT Jews Celebrate Israel! (A Wider Bridge / June 6, 2013)
Rabbi Greenberg Gets Letters of Support from Israeli Readers (A Wider Bride / May 20, 2013)
The Mother Road to acceptance (St. Louis Jewish Light / May 2, 2013)
The Stranger Within Your Gates (St. Louis Jewish Light / May 1, 2013)
Gay Orthodox Jews Discuss the Challenges They face (STL Today / April 5, 2013)
Orthodox Gay Israelis Attend Eshel Midwest Retreat (A Wider Bridge / July 24, 2012)
gay Jews March for the First Time in Celebrate Israel Parade (Huffington Post / June 5, 2013)