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Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
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This activity gives students the opportunity to discuss in pairs and small groups their perspectives on the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews in the Jewish community. It also exposes students to the breadth of legitimate Jewish perspectives on this (or any) topic and on the richness of the Jewish interpretive tradition.We recommend that you begin by setting some ground rules with the group for respectful conversation.
This lesson, extracted from Keshet's Hineini Curriculum Resource Guide, invites students to put themselves in the position of the Rabbis who determined that the law regarding the stoning of a rebellious child was only intended to be studied and not to be enacted. Participants debate the law and the different conditions that the Rabbis created to limit its application. They are then asked to consider how this case of Rabbinic intervention and interpretation might apply to contemporary Jewish responses to homosexuality and the inclusion lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life.
This conversation provides two texts that explore these ideas: How do we understand our own identity in the context of a pluralistic world? How do we interact with others who are different than us? How do we explain who we are and why we choose to celebrate our identity? Attribution: Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt
This lesson plan, excerpted from the Keshet Hineini Curriculum Resource Guide, is a great way to open the conversation about how Jewish thought and practice about a variety of issues has evolved over time. Aimed at 6-12 graders, the lesson encourages students to name all the things that have changed in Jewish law since the time of Moses and Torah. Quotes from the documentary film Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School and Jewish law texts are examined and discussed. Students can be asked to consider how attitudes and practices regarding the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews figures into a broader discussion of changes in Jewish law and practice.
This whole-group activity is a good icebreaker to use if you are planning to discuss evolution in Jewish law and practice as part of a program with a screening of Hineini or as an opening activity prior to using any of the lessons in this unit.
This lesson plan, which includes group discussion, text study, and small group work, gives students an opportunity to examine the relationship between gender and identity for all people, including those who identify as transgender.
This excerpt from the Keshet Facilitator Training Manual is designed to give participants a sense of the "conversation" about gender that has been happening in our texts and community over the last 2000 years. It invites them to enter into the conversation and make these texts meaningful and relevant to our lives today. The selection of texts presents a variety of perspectives on gender as a category and gender diversity over the evolution of Jewish thought and practice.
This text study lesson plan presents the six different gender categories described in Talmudic literature and asks students to explore how the rabbinic concepts of gender compare to contemporary understandings.
Rabbi Mark Dratch, for www.jsafe.org
This three-part lesson is a set of text study and discussion activities that presents both historical and contemporary interpretations of Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13.The intention is to introduce students to different interpretive methods and to present textual readings by a number of contemporary scholars.