Here’s another exciting project we are supporting! To get involved, please contact Su at the email address above.
Please see below November / December events by JGLG and GJIL. For more information, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org as appropriate.
Tuesday 13th November at 7pm – JGLG AGM and film showing of Hineini
Our AGM will start at 7pm and last about an hour. We’ll then be showing the film Hineini. We’ll be serving hot drinks and light refreshments. Members only for the AGM part but all welcome for the film. The film will not start until 8.30pm.
Friday 16th November 2012 7pm – GJIL Friday Night Dinner
Back due to popular demand one of our Friday Night Dinners in NW London. As usual please bring with you something to share (vegetarian/non-meat based) and some drink - we’ll provde challah and the atmosphere. Kiddush will be made and Candles lit so that all can enjoy the Mitzvot of bringing in Shabbat as a community.
Wednesday 20th November 7.30-9.30pm, Finchley – LGBTQ Jewish Creative Writing Group
The next groups themes are: Jewish, Queer and Hazelnuts. You are asked to write a short story that includes some or all these themes in no more than 250 words. A light kosher dinner will be included.
Please email email@example.com or Facebook message for address details.
Thursday 21st November – JGLG Coffee & Cakes
Come and join us for coffee and cakes in Enfield. There will be a minimum charge of £2 per person for members and £4 for non-members to cover costs.
Friday 30th November at 7.30pm – JGLG World Aids Day Chavurah led by Rabbi Mark Solomon
Our regular Service and Social in Central London. Service 7.30 – 8.30pm. After the service - Schmooze, Kiddush and Buffet. Please bring vegetarian food to share. Minimum requested donation £5. The group will provide drinks.
Thursday 13th December at 9pm – Young JGLG Lesbians’ Night Out
Our third night out in town for young lesbians. Please contact us for further details.
Saturday 8th December at 8pm – JGLG Chanukah Party
Last year our Chanukah Party was a huge success. We’ll be serving latkes and doughnuts and providing all drinks – all kosher. Members £5, non-members £8.
Saturday 15th December, 7.30pm til late in Chalk Farm – GJIL Chanukah Party
Save the date for our annual Chanukah Party on the last night of Chanukah! All those who have been will remember that this is one of our best events of the year and we hope that you will be able to join us again! For those that haven’t been before - this is one not to miss!
Keshet UK is disappointed that the headteacher of JFS School has declined the request of LGBT alumni to meet with the school (letters to and from the school are reproduced below)
Dave Shaw, Co-Convenor of Keshet UK and an ex-JFS pupil, said: “We are pleased to hear from the headteacher that the school is currently conducting a review of “the school’s approach to the topic of homosexuality. We firmly believe that as a state-funded school, JFS, like all Jewish schools, must be able to demonstrate that it meets its statutory obligation to be proactive in preventing bullying on the basis of sexuality and create an environment where all students feel included.”
Keshet UK is now preparing a submission to help with our recommendations to inform JFS’s internal review. As February is LGBT History Month, Keshet UK will be delivering teacher’s packs for every teacher at the school and we hope that this will be a valuable resource that the school will make use of.
Finally Keshet UK will also be reaching out to all Jewish secondary schools to understand how they are proactive in preventing homophobic and transphobic bullying and create an environment where all students feel included.
Keshet UK is to make an ‘It Gets Better Video’ on the 5th February for more information or to find out how you can get involved in our work please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter to JFS from LGBT Alumni
23rd January 2012
Letter from JFS to LGBT Alumni
Dear Mr Shaw
Thank you for your original email of 23 January and your subsequent email of 30 January, which I received today.
Yours was one of a number of letters I received following the publication of the Jewish Chronicle on Friday 20 January. Some of these have been critical of the School but many have been critical of the newspaper article. Both current students and alumni are distressed and angry at what was said about JFS.
As you recognise in your first email, there are indeed differing reports of the lesson that was highlighted by the Jewish Chronicle. The facts are that the Jewish Chronicle article was seriously flawed and I have been misquoted. This has itself led some correspondants to be upset by what it was alleged I said, rather than the reality at JFS today.
We believe it is appropriate, in a Jewish School, to ensure that students have the opportunity of considering important topics during their Jewish Studies lessons and we do not shirk from our responsibility of addressing these matters in an open forum. These lessons, as alumni will recall, feature lively discussion and debate.
We also believe it is appropriate to explore such topics via Health Education Seminars - not mentioned by the Jewish Chronicle - organised in conjunction with external organisations such as the Jewish Aids Trust, JAT. We also have a Student Welfare Officer who is available, on a confidential basis, for all students - and I know that students grappling with issues of their own sexuality have approached her to discuss this subject. I mention this to try and demonstrate that matters are not as one-dimensional as presented.
There are doubtless students who, unfortunately, have unhappy memories of their time at JFS for a variety of different reasons. For some adolescents grappling with their sexuality is challenging in any environment. Clearly my wish is that all students remember JFS with fondness and affection irrespective of any personal challenges they face and I continue to work to ensure that JFS is a welcoming and positive environment for all our students. I will be reviewing our approach to the topic of homosexuality at the School in the light of recent events. The perspectives I have read in all the recent correspondance will be helpful in that regard. I am going to decline your offer to meet but, if you wish to write with further thoughts, your views will be respected and considered fully. I hope that this review will benefit our approach, without the division and discord which has been the main result of the article so far.
This Forum, known as Keshet UK, brings together LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) Jewish groups, initiatives and activists in an atmosphere of respect and diversity. This Forum is a space to share, develop and promote knowledge, information, learning and resources. It facilitates discussion and collaborative work. It offers support and fosters innovation. In so doing, it empowers people and organisations to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex & questioning Jews in the UK.
We know that things have been quiet in recent months, but that is because the team has been busy working behind the scenes to get things done! We hope that this newsletter will give you a bit of an overview of what is going on now – and a taste of what’s yet to come!
What has been achieved in 2011?
What projects are currently being worked on?
Events for the end of 2011
This is only a very small proportion of the LGBT-related programming at Limmud this year - it promises to be a very exciting week and it would be great to see loads of people from JGLG, Keshet, GJIL and BKY there. For more details, see www.limmud.org/conference. The detailed programme will be going online there shortly.
Keshet UK relies on the hard work and dedication of volunteers to achieve its goals and there is loads more to do. If you would like to be involved by giving some time to any of the projects, no matter how small, we would love to hear from you! Just contact coconvenors Ariel Friedlander and Dave Shaw by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by finding us here on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/#!/KeshetUK
With very best wishes for a low-calorie Chanukah,
Ariel, Dave and the Keshet UK team