lgbtq at the j
LGBTQ at the J strives to be the heart of Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Jewish community, providing queer Jews opportunities to gather, celebrate and thrive. We aim for the full inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ+ Jews across Jewish communal institutions, in Jewish life, arts and cultural initiatives, and informal and formal education and more.
LGBTQ at the J fosters rich and diverse LGBTQ+ Jewish life in Toronto through dynamic programming – focused on social events, advocacy and education. We aspire to be a resource, safer space and home for all LGBTQ+ Jews across the spectrum of identities and affiliations. We intend to offer social and networking events and to provide opportunities for queer Jews to engage with Jewish holidays and traditions. We will partner with Jewish community organizations – including synagogues, schools and summer camps – to make their spaces and services more inclusive for LGBTQ Jews.
MONTHLY QUEER TEXT STUDY
LGBTQ at the J's new text study program for the Jewish LGBTQ community in Toronto is here to connect our community to text in an accessible, supportive and open space. Each month, we'll join together with a Queer Jewish educator as we dive in together to connect to text. Suggested donation of $10 to support our facilitator, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Email email@example.com for any inquiries.
CUT Toronto throws parties for Gay Jews.
Danforth Jewish Circle
The Danforth Jewish Circle is a joyous & inclusive, accessible & inspiring, egalitarian & independent Jewish community. Our members include singles and families of all ages who come from diverse Jewish backgrounds and cultural traditions, interfaith and intercultural families, and the full spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities
A community organization for Orthodox and formerly Orthodox LGBTQIA+ people and their families. We do social events, holiday celebrations, and peer support.
JF&CS LGBTQ+ Services
JF&CS is committed to being a safe space for the LGBTQ+ Community. We offer counselling, groups and workshops to individuals and families as well and welcome folks of all sexual orientations and gender identities at our existing groups and workshops.
Machane Lev is a one-week, Jewish overnight camp for children and youth who are LGBTQ+ or who come from LGBTQ+ families/communities.
Our shul community welcomes all, including interfaith, LGBTQ+ and non-traditional individuals and families. Inclusive and diverse, Shir Libeynu embraces an egalitarian and progressive Judaism.
UofT Rainbow Jews
A space for LGBTQ+ Jews and allies at UofT and beyond to create community together, host events and speakers, and explore the intersection of Jewish identity and LGBTQ+ identity.
MEET OUR PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE
Jay is a Queer Black Sea Ashkenazi Jewish Toronto-based graphic designer and conceptual design thinker who also works as a fine artist, mapmaker, educator and occasionally, a drag queen. Their art and design practice creates tools for education and introspection to guide the public to better understand our complex world. Jay has a Bachelor’s of Design from OCAD University and was a two time fellow of The Hillel Emerging Artists Fellowship.
They were a former Member of the Executive Committee of Kulanu where they worked on innovative events and inclusion and will now be working on strategy, mission and communications for the MNjcc LGBTQ Committee and bringing their Drag Persona Ivanna Russia Shauna to Host Events.
Melissa Green is a videographer and special events coordinator. Melissa is very active in the LGBT and Jewish community and wants to use her skills to bring change and inclusiveness to both communities. Melissa served on the Kulanu Executive Committee and led pride parade for Kulanu for three years as well. Melissa is excited to bring the skills she learned working with Kulanu to the MNjcc.
Daniel recently graduated from Queen’s University, where he co-founded Q+. Q+ is the first LGBTQ+ committee at the Queen’s School of Business – it hosts learning and mentorship events and provides opportunities for students to connect with corporate Pride networks. Daniel currently works in management consulting. He was previously involved in Kulanu, where he helped organize some of Kulanu’s Pride Month events. Daniel is looking forward to being a part of this initiative and working on exciting programming for Toronto’s Jewish LGBTQ+ community.
Daniel is a new member of the Miles Nadal LGBTQ+ Programming Committee and an active member and supporter of the LGBTQ+ Jewish community. Membership Associate and Founder of the LGBTQ+ Committee at the Schwartz/Reisman JCC. Daniel has been taking initiatives to ensure that the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and allies throughout the Toronto Jewish community are being met. In his spare time, he is an interior designer, photographer, artist and health nut on the side. Daniel is determined to implement the J’s vision and mission in the planning and execution of dynamic programing and very excited to be a part of the committee!
In 2005, Shoshana Pellman, a mature Orthodox Jew became a TransLesbian activist. Over the years she has spoken and presented or co-presented at various workshops and conferences throughout Ontario. She was featured in a 2011 CBC special on The Current entitled Back in The Closet. In 2017, Shoshana was interviewed for CBC’s Out in the Open, during which she talked about her fears of being stricken with Dementia as a Transgender person. Since 2015, she has been a co-facilitator at Bellwood Health Services. At present, Shoshana is a volunteer at Baycrest and a member of the Family Advisory Council. She is a Senior Pride Network member and sings in Singing OUT, an LGBTQ choir in Toronto.
Gabby is a Jewish professional, community organizer, advocate, and student based in Toronto. Prior to moving to Toronto, she completed a BSc in Global Resource Systems at UBC while competing as a Varsity Athlete for the UBC Field Hockey team in Vancouver. Gabby moved to Toronto to begin her Master’s degree in Social Work, while completing a Master’s of Jewish Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles. Gabby was a founder of a grassroots Jewish LGBTQ2S+ community group in Vancouver, where she helped organize a number of intersectional community events. She is invested in increasing radical inclusivity for LGBTQ2S+ folks within the Jewish community, and Jewish inclusivity within the LGBTQ2S+ community. Gabby is excited to learn more about the diversity of the Jewish community in Toronto, and bring her community organizing skills to the MNjcc!
Yonah Sienna is a Jewish artist, educator, and ASL interpreter based in Toronto. Yonah studied ancient history at the University of King’s College in Halifax, where they were the vice president of the King's PRIDE society. Yonah has led many classes and workshops, from basic Hebrew literacy to disability in the Tanakh and the deep roots of High Holiday prayer. Currently, Yonah is co-directing the Varsity Jews, studying Biblical Hebrew with The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, teaching at City Shul and Makom, and can be found working on poems, songs, and scenes based on Tanakh stories. As a member of the programming committee, Yonah is so excited to bring their passion for Judaism and LGBTQ+ issues to the MNjcc!
SUPPORT OUR WORK
We’re so proud of the team we’ve put together, and the outstanding line-up of programs and events we offer. Now we’re hoping we can count of you to support us! We’re still in the early stages of this work but we have lots of plans that will need financial support! Any amount helps.