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Talk to Me About HIV

Questions? Email Jesse Katz

In 2017, CBST launched theTalk to Me About HIVprogram, an initiative led by CBST and funded by the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene through a contract with Public Health Solutions, to raise awareness among Jewish clergy, professional staff, & lay leaders about HIV risk, prevention, treatment, & stigma and offer strategies to address the ongoing HIV epidemic. This effort was aligned with New York State’s goal to end the AIDS epidemic by this year.

Using informational resources and facilitated workshops, and coming from a place of respect, empowerment, and spirituality, this project facilitates necessary dialogue around HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and stigma. The resource toolkit and video portraits are useful resources for anyone who wants to learn more about HIV.

Currently, we have the following program:

Living Successfully with HIV/AIDS

  • Weekly, every Tuesday evening at 6 pm. Group conducted online via Zoom; REGISTER HERE to receive the Zoom info
  • Join our weekly supportive social gathering–shmooze with Rabbi James, share stories, and compare notes about what it means to be living successfully with HIV/AIDS. Sessions led by Scott A. Kramer, LCSW-R, ACSW. This group is for adults of any age who want to build community and support.

Watch our Talk to Me About HIV "Voices of Community" video playlist!

The project comprised several elements:

  • A resource toolkit addressing practical and pastoral issues including HIV risk, infection, treatment, living with HIV, aging with HIV, & much more.

  • Video portraits/conversations with CBST rabbis & community members that discuss what it’s like to be affected by HIV, as an HIV-negative or HIV-positive person navigating dating, sex, & relationships or dealing with prevention or treatment.

  • A half-day seminar for Jewish institutional leaders—rabbis, cantors, youth directors, & chaplains—preparing them to address HIV-related issues in their communities.

  • A series of lunch-and-learn events held at Jewish seminaries in NYC.

  • A revised, expanded version of our famous safer sex packets, with condoms, lube, & the greatest prevention tool of all—information about best practices for protecting yourself and others from HIV and other STIs.

Talk to Me About HIV is a project of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST) and is funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene through a contract with Public Health Solutions.