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Josef Palermo, GLOE director

Josef Palermo,
Director of GLOE - The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch DCJCC

As we prepare for Passover, let us reflect on the meaning of resistance to overcome adversity and achieve liberation—and this March, GLOE provides ample opportunity for you to think about the intersection of your LGBTQ and Jewish identities in the context of Passover's themes.

First, get your tickets to join us on March 18th for the 11th annual National Rainbow Seder. This year's Seder leader is Abby Stein, the first woman—and the first openly trans woman—to be ordained as a rabbi by an Orthodox institution before coming out as transgender.  A direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov, Abby is the first openly transgender person from the Hasidic community. She will share her own story of liberation as we celebrate Passover with a focus on the achievements of the LGBTQ movement over the past decade.

Later this month, we welcome back openly gay Rabbi Gil Steinlauf and his Hineni seminar series for developing LGBTQ Jewish leaders.  His seminar on March 22 will examine the similar historical struggles shared by LGBTQ and Jewish communities, and how the narratives of past collective traumas can be reshaped to empower communal leadership.

Take a look below to learn more about these programs and other events happening in March.



Sunday, March 18,
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Human Rights Campaign

The National Rainbow Seder is one of the nation’s largest and longest-running Passover seders for the queer Jewish community and its allies, co-presented by GLOE – The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch DCJCC and the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion & Faith Program. Hosted inside the Equality Center ballroom at the HRC headquarters in Washington, DC, this year’s seder will be led by the inspiring Abby Chava Stein, a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov who was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi before coming out as a transgender woman. In remembering how our Jewish ancestors sought liberation through resistance, we'll reflect on the ways the LGBTQ movement has won (and continues work to achieve) equality over the past decade of the National Rainbow Seder’s existence, set against the backdrop of retelling the Passover story with an LGBTQ haggadah.

Click to Get Tickets
Presented in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
This event is supported by Israeli House Washington הבית הישראלי בוושינגטון, The Embassy of Israel in the United States, and LGBTQ synagogue Bet Mishpachah.
(For accessibility/accommodation requests, please email gloeintern@edcjcc.org.)

Torah & Sexuality: Examining Gender Diversity in Jewish Texts Hineni seminar series


Tuesday, March 20,
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Edlavitch DCJCC

In this session we will be exploring texts related to the first adam, the first human being. We will look at various interpretations of this human being's gender and think about the practical implications being able to look at the gender diversity in our ancient texts has for us today. Instructed by Rabbi Rachel Ackerman of Temple Shalom.


Tuesday, March 20,
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Edlavitch DCJCC

To be Jewish and LGBTQ is to live in the intersection of two traditionally oppressed populations. Through exploring the similarities, differences, and dynamics of identity of our Jewish and LGBTQ selves, we can gain great insight. With this insight, we can become effective leaders in both communities, able to creatively transform past traumas into new narratives to inspire communities.

Click to Get Tickets
Click to RSVP
Upcoming Events at the Edlavitch DCJCC 

March 12 || Author Talk ||  Steven Gaines: One Of These Things First
Join us for a hilarious, heartrending talk with Steven Gaines, author of One of These Things First—a wry and poignant reminiscence of a 15-year-old gay Jewish boy in Brooklyn in the early Sixties. With a true gift for storytelling, Gaines captures his childhood shtetl in Brooklyn life with all its dramas and secrets, including a brilliant young psychiatrist who promises to cure him of his homosexuality and give him the normalcy he longs for (spoiler alert: it doesn’t work). Through it all, Gaines weaves a tale that delights and disturbs.

March 16 || EntryPointDC || Spring 2018 Shabbat Clusters
Interested in joining a community for Shabbat but don't have a place to go? Young adults in their 20s and 30s are organized into small groups who host monthly potluck-style Shabbat dinners at their homes and at local restaurants. This program is open to singles and couples and groups are formed based on age, location, and sometimes interests such as arts, outdoors, LGBTQ, interfaith, 30-somethings, community service, etc. Want to lead a group? Shabbat Cluster Coordinators needed! To learn more, email Stacy at stacym@edcjcc.org.

March 31 || Jewish Life || Second Night Community Seder 2018
Join us to meet new friends, partake in joyous singing accompanied by a guitar, and fascinating discussions. The Seder will also feature a delicious (and kosher) traditional Passover meal. Whether you know all the customs and stories of Passover, or you are just learning what questions to ask, there is a place for you at our seder table.