The program is a project of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ LGBTQ+ Working Party. It is designed to support, engage and mentor Jewish LGBTQ+ individuals who are looking for guidance and community.
The Australian Jewish News
November 5, 2021
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) has launched a new mentorship program specifically for LGBTQ+ members of the Jewish community.
The program is designed to support, engage, and mentor Jewish LGBTQ+ community members who are looking for guidance and direction.
“Some of us are fortunate enough to find mentorship and community early in life. As a young queer Jewish person, I would have loved the opportunity to engage with the incredible mentors that this program provides,” said Josh Kirsh, chair of JBOD’s LGBTQ+ Working Party.
Through one-on-one mentoring sessions, informal group discussions and a range of sessions with guest speakers, participants can experience personal growth, create a support network, and form steadfast relationships with mentors and other mentees.
The program aims to build a more inclusive NSW Jewish community, where LGBTQ+ individuals feel welcomed, supported, and empowered.
“I can’t wait to see the connections that are built, and to see young queer Jews empowered in our community,” added Kirsh.
The launch of the program follows the passing of a motion at JBOD’s October plenum recommending that coercive practices which are commonly referred to as “conversion therapies” be banned.
The motion supports moves already afoot in NSW Parliament to ban coercive practices that seek to forcibly change someone’s gender, bodily or sexual identity.
In a statement, JBOD said, “LGBTQ+ people deserve the same dignity, respect and freedom to pursue their lives in peace as any other members of our vivid and diverse NSW society.
“The motion affirms the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ steadfast support for the Jewish LGBTQ+ community and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community more broadly.”
Earlier this year, JBOD hosted a panel discussion called “The LGBTQ+ experience in the Jewish community”. It featured Jewish GP Kerryn Phelps and wife Jackie Stricker-Phelps, Dayenu president Jonathan David, transgender woman Danielle Meltzer, and Galit Taub, a Moriah graduate who aims to make religious Jewish spaces more inclusive for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Program applicants must be over 18 and identify as LGBTQ+ and Jewish.
To apply to be a mentor or mentee, visit nswjbd.org/lgbtq-mentorship-program