Help Amplify LGBTQ+ Jewish Life

As we enter the High Holiday season of 5781, Jews around the world are preparing for a Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as we have never experienced.  Who would have thought we would hear the sound of the Shofar over Zoom?  We certainly could not have foreseen the world to have changed in the blink of an eye. For so many of us in the Jewish LGBTQ+ and ally community, we already feel split at the root, not fully able to express our whole selves in the world. Add on the unimaginable challenges of a global crisis and our community is deeply impacted and grieving in ways we never imagined. 

Many LGBTQ+ people, and especially youth, have been quarantined at home with a family that does not support them, or fully understand their own child’s orientation or gender identity. Our trans community has faced daily assaults on their basic human rights and dignity from the media and no shortage of leadership who want to strip the trans community of medical benefits and access to health care. Above all, this year has also magnified systemic racism and we wil not be complicit in allowing queer Jews of color to be marginalized. 

Our hearts are broken, but our souls are hopeful –  we are ready for transformation. JQ has been a vehicle for change in the Jewish LGBTQ+ and ally community since 2004. We remain steadfast in our mission and emboldened to activate the community to work for and support the full equity of LGBTQ+ Jews.  We also know how high the stakes are for the health and safety of our people at this time.  Like many organizations, we have pivoted to the digital space and expanded our reach globally. What makes us shine, is our ability to invest in human connection that inspires hope now and into the future. 

JQ is a year-round service organization offering programs in three areas, Direct Services for LGBTQ+ Jews and Allies, Educational Outreach and Training, and Community-Wide Engagement. Our life-affirming programming uniquely lifts all facets of our identities. While our vision of our work was founded with an eye to in-person gatherings, these past few months have cemented just how impactful we have been in the virtual space. We have experienced an influx of calls and requests for support through the JQ Helpline. We have also increased our support services to address issues such as economic strain and increased anxiety, which the pandemic has worsened. 

It takes innovation and sustenance for a small and lean organization to impact over 15,000 individuals in a year, and we are uniquely positioned to continue to provide life-affirming work to the Jewish LGBTQ+ and ally community. We will continue to work tirelessly to inspire hope and offer our signature support service program. At a time when we are physically separated, your generosity will help LGBTQ+ Jews know they are not alone.  Support JQ’s life-affirming work with a recurring monthly gift of $36.

L’Shanah Tovah U’Metukah,
Asher Gellis
Executive Director