Culture, Global, Identity, Politics, Sex & Gender

Hillel reaches out to Queers on Campus

Hillel recently released a guide for including LGBTQ students in its campus activities. The guide, downloadable as a pdf, and the press release are available in full here.
At 186-pages, it’s lengthy and fairly comprehensive, touching on topics from the history of the American LGBTQ movements, to resources for coming out, to queer and Jewish content for programming. The guide also includes a glossary of commonly used queer/LGBTQ-related terms.
My concern, however, is that the length will actually be a barrier. Those Hillel staff who aren’t interested in stepping outside the box, or making an effort to include these students in their programming, will be quick to dismiss a document of this length. (I mean, heck, it took me over two weeks since I saw the press release to read it – and I’m interested!) Maybe I’m just jaded by incredibly negative Hillel experiences, but I think this guide is largely “preaching to the choir.”

“Hillel is opening the doors for all Jewish students, of all sexual orientations and gender identities,” says Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone. “The resource guide provides Hillel directors with practical recommendations for welcoming this important population into our Hillels.”

To take off the cynical hat, I hope that Hillel staff are given more than just this guide – that they’re provided with additional resources for understanding what they read, having their questions answered, and ensuring that they do, in fact, make their local Hillel an open and welcoming place for LGBTQ students.

One thought on “Hillel reaches out to Queers on Campus

  1. That there have been no comments on this story is telling. It would indicate that while readers of Jewschool have varied views on subjects such as circumcision – the issue of Gay acceptance is a given.
    But I am living outside the American bubble. Here in Israel, at the Schechter Rabbinical School, the mentality of the Middle Age lives on. Not only are Gays not accepted for ordination – but we who are tuition paying students from abroad (here for the year) have been told to stifle ourselves.
    The free thinking and freedom of expression, a norm in our American schools, is but a dream here in Jerusalem.
    My only question is how our own administrators can require us to have to live with this for a year.
    But Job emerged stronger.

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