JFS to offer “Beyond the Rainbow: LGBTQ in the Binghamton Jewish Community” on Jan. 29

Jewish Family Service, in conjunction with Pride and Joy Families/Lesbian and Gay Families Building Project and Temple Concord, will hold the program “Beyond the Rainbow: Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer in the Binghamton Jewish Community” on Tuesday, January 29, at Temple Concord, 9 Riverside Dr., Binghamton. There will be no charge for the program and the light dinner. The dinner will held at 5:30 pm, with the program running from 6:15-8 pm. The community is invited to attend. (The snow date will be Tuesday, February 26.)
The purpose of the program is to make the Binghamton Jewish community a more welcoming place for LGBTQ people and create allies. Roz Antoun, the director of JFS, noted, “We hope this program will help increase our Jewish community’s understanding of the unique perspectives of LGBTQ individuals. Topics to be covered will include the basics of sexual orientation and gender identity, and how to be more welcoming, inclusive and affirming of LGBTQ people who are friends, family, neighbors and associates.”
The event will include presentations by Rabbis Barbara Goldman-Wartell and Rachel Esserman of the multiple genders mentioned in the Bible and the Talmud. A panel including Harry Cohen, Claudia Stallman and others will offer first person accounts by folks who live at the intersection of Jewish and LGBTQ identities. Trainer and teacher Alex Compton-Monell will lead the discussion about gender identity and sexual orientation, and how to be an ally.
According to Claudia Stallman, one of the event organizers, “This program is both personal and professional for me, given my work at Pride and Joy Families, Binghamton’s LGBTQ family organization. I was so glad that Roz approached me with the idea of doing some sort of educational program together. I am looking forward to learning more about what Judaism has to say on this subject and engaging in this community conversation.”
Those interested in attending should RSVP to Antoun at 724-2332 or rozjfs@stny.rr.com to prepare enough food and materials for all participants.