Conversion and Affirmation, LGBTQ+

Ode to Spontaneous Selves

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by Al Reitz It was fall the first time I asked my mom if I looked handsome, about halfway through my process of becoming Jewish. It’s hard to forget a moment like that—something shifts. I had my chin up high, my button-down shirt layered under a leather jacket. I wasn’t sold on the word quite […]

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Accessibility and Inclusion, LGBTQ+

Why Queer Mikveh?

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by Rebekah Erev In 2000, a group of radical queers in Olympia, Washington welcomed me into a chavurah (group of friends) of artists, musicians, and organizers. We had all experienced feeling excluded, living on the fringes, and shared a desire to welcome and acknowledge the beauty of the liminal space we occupied as queers. We […]

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Unpacking Niddah

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by Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish Niddah is the practice of abstaining from sexual intimacy around the time of menstruation. When contemplating the rabbinic laws surrounding menstruation, it can be easy to wonder: Why is there a whole area of Jewish law devoted to the intricacies of determining the beginning and end of women’s menstrual cycles? At times, […]

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Creating the World We Want to See

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by Carrie Bornstein Last week, Carrie shared these words as she was honored at Mayyim Hayyim’s spring benefit, Soul/Life/Cycle: My first job interview at Mayyim Hayyim was exactly ten years ago this Thursday; less than 48 hours before Eliana was born. At the time I couldn’t decide how I felt about doing a 9th month […]

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Moppa’s Day is Coming

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by Faith Soloway, Writer and Producer of Amazon’s “Transparent” I’m so excited for Mother’s Day this year. Not only is May 14, 2017, Mother’s Day and Mayyim Hayyim’s 13th birthday, it’s also a few days before my Moppa’s birthday, which is a big one. To honor my Moppa, my parent who came out as trans […]

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Resist!

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by Leah Robbins, Administrative and Marketing Assistant This Passover has me thinking a lot about what liberation looks like to me. I wish I could say that the poignancy of our own liberation narrative, from slavery to freedom, have inspired in me words of transformation and moments of comfort and hope. But to be honest… […]

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Making a Marriage: Inside Beyond the Huppah

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As Beyond the Huppah 2017 approaches, we are reminded of these unique insights written and adapted by educator Judy Elkin. Imagine it. Ten couples sitting around a table, munching on Terra Chips, hummus and carrots, mixed nuts, and Peanut M&M’s; some soon-to-be married, some already married, in their late 20’s and older, gay and straight, […]

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Off the Deep End!

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Reposted by Mayyim Hayyim in recognition of the recent launch of “Now What?,” a post-conversion curriculum for new Jews and their partners now available for your community! by Cantor Louise Egbert Treitman I converted to Judaism almost 45 years ago and have been immersed in the Jewish world ever since. I was still in college when […]

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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”…and Other Challenges

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by Leeza Negelev, Associate Director of Education Last spring, I sat in the Mayyim Hayyim Education Center with a group of people who had at some point made the decision to become Jewish. It was the very first session of “Now What? Questions and Answers for Those Who Have Chosen Judaism,” a program Mayyim Hayyim […]

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Lessons from Beyond the Huppah: An In-Depth Review

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by Sarah Bolts and Michael Chernicoff, Beyond the Huppah Participants fall 2015  Sarah: I honestly didn’t know what to expect from a pre-marriage class. I grew up in the Orthodox community, where pre-marriage classes came in the form of “kallah (bride) classes” in which a bride would learn about the laws of niddah (regular separation of […]

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