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This episode is deeply moving and hopeful, as Rabbi Mike Moskowitz walks Tanna and Paris through the ins and outs of being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, whilst also being ultra orthodox.Pride in the Ultra Orthodox Community, With Rabbi Mike Moskowitz – The AUJS Pod (Sep 19 2022)
Initially, they briefly discuss Rabbi Moskowitz’ personal journey to becoming the Scholar in Residence at the Beit Simchat Torah Congregation, before diving into the attitudes held by so many in conservative, orthodox communities.
From discussing specific verses often used to justify transphobia, to an analysis of conversion therapy, to predictions about same sex marriage, Rabbi Moskowitz covers a wide range of questions that many onlookers have wondered about over the years.
Rabbi Moskowitz also touches on the recent negative media attention that his community has been receiving, and demonstrates that despite several significant imperfections, the ultra orthodox community is full of beauty, charity, and love.
‘A STRONG ALLY TO LGBTIQ+ PEOPLE’
He maintains his religious practices while simultaneously attending Pride Parades and protest rallies for queer rights and inclusion.
By MIA GARDINER
September 12, 2022, 7:35 pm
From left: Rabbi Mike Moskowitz and Michael Barnett. Photo: Gregory Storer.
The Victorian Pride Centre on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, provided the perfect location to hear New York’s ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Mike Moskowitz discuss how Judaism can provide a welcoming and inclusive place for people of all genders and sexual orientations, free from judgement and discrimination.
On his tour of Australia and New Zealand last month, the US based rabbi made time in his schedule to address an intimate gathering, as guest of Aleph Melbourne and the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council.
Talking about how having a transgender family member challenged and changed his worldview, Rabbi Moskowitz spoke about how he devotes much of his time to making Judaism a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTIQ+ Jews, free from judgement and hostility.
Rabbi Moskowitz told those gathered that he maintains his religious practices while simultaneously attending Pride Parades and protest rallies for queer rights and inclusion.
He also stressed that the fundamental understanding that a person cannot change their sexual orientation or gender identity is of particular importance to him, and shared that he actively combats damaging practices that seek to change or convert LGBTIQ+ people to being heterosexual and/or cisgender.
Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett said, “It was a total joy meeting Rabbi Moskowitz. His passion for LGBTIQ+ people and issues rivals that of any ally I have ever met and sets a very high bar when it comes to advocacy and inclusion.”
He also told The AJN that “Many of those in attendance spoke of how they found it unexpectedly refreshing to meet an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who was proud to be a strong ally to LGBTIQ+ people and advocate for our full inclusion in the Jewish community.”
Barnett added, “What I took from meeting Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is that being decent to LGBTIQ+ people and other vulnerable minorities takes minimal effort, and goes a long way to mend the harms that ill-informed rabbis and others perpetrate in the name of their faith.”
Francine Shadur was a memorable highlight of the 2019 and 2020 “Jews of Pride” contingents at the annual Midsumma Pride March.
Francine died in tragic circumstances on August 30 2022.
We celebrate her life in photos and video through her participation in “Jews of Pride”.
The annual Midsumma Pride March received fantastic support from the community.
By AJN STAFF
February 13, 2022, 10:00 am
The Jewish community was out in force at the annual Midsumma Pride March last Sunday. With crowds back to normal after the pandemic, there was rapturous applause for the 70 -strong Jews of Pride contingent, with everyone clapping and dancing along to the Jewish music.
Participating organisations included Aleph Melbourne, the Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria, Temple Beth Israel, Habonim Dror, Hashomer Hatzair, Zionism Victoria, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), Pathways Melbourne, SKIF and Temple Beth Israel.
Aleph co-convenor Michael Barnett told The AJN “I am heartened to see the fantastic support from Jewish youth groups, providing a safe and inclusive space for LGBTIQ+ people. We also have more parents and families of young people attending, crucial to the safe development of their children.”
The sentiment was echoed by regular participant, Naomi Barnett, who said it was her best ever Pride March yet, with so much enthusiasm from the sidelines for the Jewish presence.
JCCV vice president Doron Abramovici reflected, “It is a wonderful experience for all Jewish organisations to march together, as a unified group.
In 2018 the “Jews of Pride” contingent was awarded the “Most Fabulous” category in the Midsumma Pride March.
In 2022 “Jews of Pride” was awarded an Honourable Mention in the “Most Fabulous” category in the Midsumma Pride March:
Congratulations to winners, honourable mentions and all other groups.