Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Orthodox LGBTs talk about coming out, staying visible
by Matt Simonette
2017-01-29

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


When Zehorit Sorek, an Israeli Orthodox Jew, realized some years back that she was a lesbian, she told herself that she was faced with three possible choices.

She could be an out lesbian, and become a secular Jew, denying herself the meaning she garners from Orthodox practice. Conversely, she could deny her lesbianism and live as a straight woman might, marrying a man and essentially lying to those around her. Or, she could try to build a bridge between her religious beliefs and practices and her sexual identity, constantly struggling with the contradictions between the two.

Sorek chose the last option. "There was no choice for me," she said in a visit to Chicago the week of Jan. 16.

She calls herself a "professional lesbian" in her native Tel Aviv and has volunteered in a number of LGBT-rights organizations there. She also founded the Pride Minyan Group for LGBT Israelis in 2009, after her synagogue's leadership would not allow her to celebrate a symbolic marriage ceremony with her partner in its building.

"There isn't any nice way to say it—they kicked us out of the synagogue," Sorek recalled. We needed a place to pray."

A friend told her if they did not have a minyan—a prayer group—she should start her own.

"Forty percent are gay, 60 percent are straight—totally equal," Sorek noted. "I pray there every week."

Sorek, along with activist Daniel Jonas, visited several U.S. cities, among them Chicago, in conjunction with the organization A Wider Bridge, which promotes understanding about Israel within the LGBT community. Sorek is the chairperson of Havruta: Religious Gays, which was founded in 2007, to support gay men in religious communities and educate the religious public about LGBT issues.

A native of Jerusalem, he said that his family's acceptance of his homosexuality inspired him to work towards reconciling his orthodox principles and identity as a gay man.

"Twenty-four hours after I came out to them, after we all had time to breathe, process and adjust, I told my father that one of the most frightening things for me was that he would become an issue of gossip in his synagogue," Jonas recalled. "…He was honest and brave enough to tell me that he was thinking the same thing, but that he doesn't care."

A year later, Jonas published an article publicly stating his homosexuality and joined his father in the synagogue.

"I came in and I looked around, and was sure everyone would whisper and gossip about us," he said. "I was in a way quite disappointed, because no one did."

Sorek and Jonas maintain that its most important for Orthodox LGBTs to be visible in their communities, noting that its easy for rabbis and other religious personnel to deny discussion of their issues by simply saying that they have no LGBTs among their constituencies. As such they have been involved in an extensive advertising campaign that publishes the faces and stories of other orthodox LGBT individuals

The first publications came via social media, but they got subsequent ads in print, including in a religious newspaper intended to be read during the Sabbath. The newspaper said that they had fielded complaints. As Jonas noted, "They couldn't use the phone for 24 hours, but [readers] were mad enough to call."

"But at least they saw it," added Sorek.

Related article at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Wider-Bridge-event-focuses-on-Israeli-LGBT-issues/57925.html .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HRC Condemns Expanded Muslim Ban 2017-09-25 - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) reacted to Donald Trump's xenophobic actions extending his Muslim travel ban issued ...


Gay News

Advocates for Student Sexual Assault Survivors condemn Education's ending guidelines 2017-09-25 - Washington, DC — A coalition of legal and policy advocates today condemned a decision by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to rescind and ...


Gay News

Groups watch for judges setting money bonds too high for many to pay 2017-09-25 - On Monday, Sept. 18, a general order by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans aimed at stopping judges from setting bonds that people ...


Gay News

Hate graffiti sprayed on homes of Lincoln Square families 2017-09-24 - In the early-morning hours of Sept. 24, Bradd Easton left his Lincoln Square house that he shares with husband Jeff Zacharias and their ...


Gay News

Michael Johnson bypasses trial, is sentenced to 10 years for hiding HIV status 2017-09-22 - New York, NY, Sept. 21, 2017 — Today, in conclusion to a prosecution short on fairness and riddled with questions about racism and ...


Gay News

DeVos reverses Obama-era guidelines to schools on sexual assault 2017-09-22 - On Sept. 22, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the Obama-era Title IX guidance to schools on dealing with sexual assault on campus. ...


Gay News

GLAD, NCLR react to transgender military ban, anti-transgender judicial nominee 2017-09-20 - ( WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2017 )—Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders ( ...


Gay News

State ACLU retains Guidetti as lawyer 2017-09-20 - The American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) of Illinois announced it has retained Ghirlandi Guidetti as a staff attorney in its Chicago ...


Gay News

Lake County raises cigarette buying age to 21 2017-09-20 - Lake County is set to become the first area in Illinois to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes, tobacco products and electronic ...


Gay News

Guidelines issued regarding Equifax breach 2017-09-20 - Recently, Equifax, one of the nation's three major credit bureaus, announced that a data breach likely compromised the information of approximately 143 million ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.