Chazak: the Red Ribbon Team

The Chazak: Red Ribbon Team works to eliminate prejudice and stigma against those living with HIV/AIDS and to increase awareness and acceptance. 

Chazak is committed to creating an environment in which congregants are comfortable being out about their HIV status if they choose to be; where community members are comfortable discussing the impact of HIV upon their relationships; and that supports the needs of all congregants, HIV positive and HIV negative, including those related to treatment, prevention, wellness, and social and communal support. We support treatment, prevention and testing efforts on a practical and policy level within the scope of our role as an LGBTQ+ Jewish community.

Our vision is for CBST to be a respectful congregation that is comfortable with the reality of HIV/AIDS within our community, and that embraces all members without stigma or prejudice. 

Talk to Me About HIV

The Talk to Me About HIV program is generously funded by the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene through a contract with Public Health Solutions. Using informational resources and facilitated workshops, Talk to Me About HIV raises awareness among clergy, professional staff, and lay leaders of Jewish organizations about HIV risk, prevention, treatment, and stigma. We offer strategies to address the ongoing HIV epidemic. This effort was aligned with New York State’s goal to achieve the first ever decrease in HIV prevalence in New York State by the end of 2020.

Talk to Me About HIV succeeds because it emerges from a place of respect, empowerment, and Jewish spirituality. The project facilitates urgently necessary dialogue about HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and stigma.

CBST hosts a facilitated weekly group, Living Successfully with HIV/AIDS, Tuesday evenings at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Email to receive the Zoom info. Each week our supportive social gathering begins with half an hour of shmoozing with Rabbi James, followed by a session with Scott A. Kramer, LCSW-R, ACSW. Share stories and compare notes about what it means to be living successfully with HIV/AIDS. This group is for people of any age 18 or older from any religious background who want to build community and support.

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

Questions? Contact Jesse Katz

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.

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