I recently found a group on Facebook called LQBTQ Chabad and Allies.

LGBTQ-Chabad-FB

Their web site is located at https://lgbtqchabad.org/

Their Facebook community About page states:

This page was created after many people within the Chabad community asked how they can be better allies and supporters of their LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) brothers and sisters. We created this page so that people can like it as a sign of support to people who need to know that there are many straight people within their community that support them too.

There is more text and a very extensive list of resource links there which I will include at the end of this post for those that may find them useful.

In my days with Chabad, the topic of homosexuality or the LGBTQ community was avoided and rarely discussed.  If the subject ever came up at a Shabbat kiddish lunch or an event, it was quickly buried with a change of topic by the rabbi.  Once while gathering for one of those Shabbat lunches after davening*, a congregant asked the rabbi how he felt about California allowing gay marriage.  I believe he was referring to the Supreme Court ruling at the time that California’s Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.  The rabbi, obviously uneasy about receiving the question, was able to sidestep it by saying ‘we’ll talk about it by the kiddish’ (which means ‘we’ll talk about it during the meal’ in English).   The topic wasn’t raised again and the rabbi got away with another non-answer (and a lie).  Of course, this shliach (Chabad missionary rabbi) can’t publicly express his uncensored fundamentalist views in a mixed outreach group.  Especially here in Los Angeles where there are many LGBTQ people, and many more that support them.  He may find the values of the LGBTQ community repugnant, but saying so is bad for Chabad business.  He’d rather accept a donation than share his honest opinion.  “Sitting on the fence” on sensitive topics is a common Chabad shliach/missionary tactic that often translates into dollars.

Even if the LQBTQ Chabad Facebook page existed at the time, and the rabbi had known about it, it’s very unlikely he would share information that stands in sharp contrast to his ultra-Orthodox position.**  In my experience, unless cornered for an answer, Chabad rabbis deal with the issue of Chabad’s LGBTQ community by ignoring it, claiming it’s insignificant, or with denial, much like the women in the video below.

One Chabad rabbi (not the shliach described above) viewed homosexuality as a disease.  In a very hushed tone I was told ‘they can be cured.’


* If you could call it that at this Chabad house.  The rabbi made a joke before most Torah readings.  The service was ‘dumbed-down’ for a tough-to-get-a-minyan congregation that was not really into it.  Services were rushed to the point it was impossible to pray with any meaning whatsoever.  And the main attraction was lunch, and for some, indulging in a lot of alcohol.

** This shliach is a young-Earth creationist too, with no willingness to consider alternative views held by other Orthodox authorities.  His “reasoning” is that ‘the Torah was meant to be read and understood by men so seven days can only mean seven 24-hour periods’ from any perspective on Creation.


Complete notes and resource links from the LQBTQ Chabad community About page:

STORY
This page was created after many people within the Chabad community asked how they can be better allies and supporters of their LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) brothers and sisters. We created this page so that people can like it as a sign of support to people who need to know that there are many straight people within their community that support them too.

If you or someone you know identify as LGBTQ and have ever called yourself Chabad, feel free to send a message to this page and we will add you to the secret support Facebook group if it’s appropriate and you fit the criteria.

This group is fully secret and in order to join you must share your real identity with someone connected to a group moderator or member to ensure that everyone’s safety and confidentiality is held to the highest possible extent.

Feel free to express your opinions on this page, all that we ask is that you do so respectfully without attacking or making fun of anyone.

This page and our group is proudly sponsored by Jewish Queer Youth http://jqyouth.org/

Support & Community
http://jqyouth.org/
http://www.eshelonline.org/
http://www.orthogays.org/faq.html
http://awiderbridge.org/
Melbourne https://m.facebook.com/pages/JAG-Melbourne/
Melbourne http://aleph.org.au/
Victoria http://jlgvic.org/home.html
Sydney http://dayenu.org.au/
Mexico http://guimel.mx/
London http://www.gayjewsinlondon.com/
London http://www.jglg.org.uk/
Paris http://www.beit-haverim.com/
Israel http://havruta.org.il/
Israel http://www.bat-kol.org/
Israel http://www.hod.org.il/?en=1
Atlanta http://www.sojourngsd.org/
Philly https://jfcsphilly.org/main-home-page…
Chicago http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chi-asi…
Boston http://www.netivotboston.com/
Portland http://www.gayjewishportland.com/
US http://www.keshetonline.org/

Orthodox Parents of LGBTQ children: US http://www.temicha.org/#3042
Israel http://www.tehila.org.il/
UK http://www.parentsofjewishgaysandlesbians.co.uk/

Miscellaneous:
Rabbi? Add your name http://statementofprinciplesnya.blogs/..
Yeshiva/Seminary http://yeshivainclusionproject.org/
NY Orthodox LGBT minyan http://orchayim.org/
Israel religious LGBTQ education https://sites.google.com/site/shovalg…
Ally? Organize a Merchav Batuach “Safe Space” Training session in your community! https://www.facebook.com/Merchav-Batu…

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