Harvey Milk, Kate Bornstein, and Lesléa Newman are the first three subjects of a new website and poster series about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jews who have transformed the world through their words and lives.  The timing of the project’s launch is in honor of Harvey Milk Day on May 22 and LGBT Pride Month in June.

LGBT Jews have made enormous contributions to American culture, society, and politics.  The posters will provide a way for kids and adults – whether  LGBT or straight – to see and learn about who LGBT Jews are, what they have contributed to American and American Jewish life, and why their identities, as LGBT people and as Jews, matter.

Coming on the heels of the horrific spate of suicides among LGBT youth last fall, Idit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet noted, “Supporting LGBT youth means celebrating queer Jewish heroes. I want gay kids to walk into their day school and Hebrew school classrooms and see that their community is honoring LGBT Jewish visionaries. My hope is that seeing these posters of LGBT Jews will help young LGBT Jews and their friends and family never question their rightful place in the community.”

The website has a page dedicated to each person, complete with bio, lots of pictures, a bibliography and a topical action link.  In short, a term-paper-writer’s dream.  This is an excellent resource for both students and teachers at time when school curricula rarely recognize the contributions of LGBT people as such (Fingers crossed for that changing soon in California!).

The posters and companion website www.LGBTJewishHeroes.org are a project of Keshet, the largest Jewish LGBT organization in the U.S.  Keshet’s mission is to “ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews are fully included in all parts of the Jewish community.”

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Laurel Ramseyer

Laurel Ramseyer

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