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Hosted by Jewish performance and ritual artist Shira Kline (she/her), a.k.a. ShirLaLa, this season features interviews with LGBTQIA+ Jews from the Union for Reform Judaism's JewV'Nation Fellowship.
Being queer and Jewish means something different to everyone, and those differences deserve to be celebrated. This week, Grace Collins (they/them) talks about being a Jewish storyteller and teacher; their connection, as a Jew-by-choice, to Rabbi Akiva’s teachings;, repairing the world in an oppressive political climate; and the dangers of “gatekeeping” in queer and Jewish spaces.
Once, there was a king who set out on a mission in his kingdom to learn about his reputation. He travelled from town to town and eventually met a happy old man and his wife. After asking them why they were so joyous, they replied, “God takes care of us.” The king was furious—it’s him who takes care of the people, not God! What the man and his wife do next teach everyone in the kingdom, including the king, what it means to be taken care of. Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, the rabbi at Reform Temple of Forest Hills retells the story. For a written version, see “The Wooden Sword” in The Jewish Story Finder by Sharon Barcan Elswit.