Part of CBST’s unique heritage has been our involvement in the lives and experience of LGBTQ individuals within Ultra-Orthodox communities. On June 22nd as part of our PRIDE month programming, we are bringing together Chani Getter, Abby Stein, Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum for an exciting conversation about the Netflix miniseries Unorthodox*.
Chani is the Senior Director of Organizational Development at Footsteps, an organization in North America that assists people who wish to leave or explore leaving ultra-Orthodoxy.
Abby is a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov (the founder of Hasidic Judaism) who came out in 2015 as a woman of trans experience after graduating Yeshiva as a rabbi in 2011.
REGISTER HERE in advance to receive the Zoom link to attend. Registrants will receive the Zoom link at 5pm on June 22nd.
*Unorthodox is a German-American drama miniseries that debuted on Netflix on 26 March 2020. The first Netflix series to be primarily in Yiddish, it is inspired by Deborah Feldman's 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. Participants do not have to have seen the miniseries in order to attend, but are encouraged to view it.
- Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman
- Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman by Abby Stein
- Abby Stein's YouTube Channel
- Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home by Leah Lax
- All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir by Shulem Deen
- Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood by Leah Vincent
- Textual Activism by Rabbi Mike Moskowitz
- One of Us documentary on Netflix
- DEVOUT documentary on YouTube
Chani Getter is an ordained One Spirit Interfaith Minister who was raised in an ultra-orthodox Hassidic Jewish home. At the age of 23 she left an arranged marriage and as a single parent began a journey of self-discovery. As part of her work at Footsteps, the only organization in the United States that has comprehensive services for those leaving ultra-orthodoxy, she trains staff at various organizations to understand the complexity of those who are leaving insular communities. https://www.chanigetter.com/
Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, author, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family of rabbinic descent, and is a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. Abby attended Yeshiva, completing a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, she left the Hasidic world to explore a self-determined life. In 2015 Abby came out as a woman of trans experience. Since coming out, she has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy. www.abbychavastein.com
Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBTQ synagogue. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBTQ inclusivity. Rabbi Moskowitz received three Ultra-Orthodox ordinations while learning in the Mir in Jerusalem and in Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ. He is a David Hartman Center Fellow and the author of Textual Activism. His writings can be found at www.rabbimikemoskowitz.com. Here at CBST, Rabbi Moskowitz studies, writes, and teaches on trans issues and Jewish sources, creating a body of work that is used as a resource all over the world. He represents CBST, speaking and teaching on these topics in other communities, including congregations, colleges, day schools, Jewish community centers, interfaith events, and academic conferences.
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. She was installed as CBST’s first rabbi in 1992, arriving at the height of the AIDS crisis when the synagogue was in desperate need of pastoral care and spiritual leadership. She guided the congregation through a period of loss and change, while addressing social issues of the day and building a strong and deeply spiritual community. Under her leadership as Senior Rabbi, CBST has become a powerful voice in the movement for equality and justice for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and a significant force challenging the radical right’s dominance over religious and political life in the United States and around the world. For many years Rabbi Kleinbaum has been ranked by Newsweek among the 50 most influential rabbis in America. Photo by Harold Levine