Queerness & Judaism Panel
Sun, Feb 21, 2021, 2 to 3:30 pm Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
This Queerness & Judaism Panel features Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Rabbi Reuben Zellman, and Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann.
About this Event
What does it mean to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and queer identity with a spiritual and/or religious journey? What does it mean to be a sexual and/or gender minority and belong to a faith tradition? How can we ask these questions to prepare ourselves to transform the world? These are the motivations behind the Inaugural Stanford Speaker Series on Queerness, Spirituality, and Religion. For LGBTQIA+ identified people, these questions speak to a long history of rejection, reconciliation, and joy. But the topics at hand are relevant to social, political, and cultural questions which all parts of humanity might find themselves asking. Inclusion and exclusion, transformation and meditation, prayer, worship, faith, love, forgiveness, community, and the nature of being in this modern world are just some of these topics we hope to cover.
This 90-minute panel will consist of three parts. First, each panelist will introduce themselves and their work, sharing a part of their journey and practice with the audience. Second, a student moderator will pose questions for the panelists with audience observation. Last, an open question & answer session will be held fielding questions from the audience.
Headshots are in respective order to the below biographies, from left to right.
Rabbi Mychal Copeland
Rabbi Mychal Copeland is the rabbi at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, a Jewish, LGBTQI-normative community in San Francisco. She was previously the rabbi at Hillel at Stanford. Her book, Struggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious Perspectives (SkyLight Paths, October 2015), grew out of her campus work. Mychal is passionate about opening the doors of Judaism wider and leading people towards a profound spiritual and religious life that embraces all their disparate identities.
Rabbi Reuben Zellman
Rabbi Reuben Zellman was born and raised in California and has studied and worked in Santiago de Chile, Jerusalem, New York and Los Angeles. He became the first openly transgender person accepted to the Reform Jewish seminary Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2003. He received his B.A. in linguistics from U.C. Berkeley, M.M. in choral conducting from SF State, and M.A. in Hebrew literature and rabbinical ordination at Hebrew Union College. He trained in chazzanut (Jewish modal theory and performance practice) under Cantors Jackie Mendelssohn and David Bentley. Reuben is the Director of Music at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. His research interests include Jewish music of the Baroque and early Classical periods. An educator in the transgender community, Reuben speaks and has been published extensively on gender identity and religion.
Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann
Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann is the Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University. She came to Stanford in 1996 as the first University Chaplain from a tradition other than Christianity. Ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, she teaches and speaks widely on Jewish feminism, the relationship between religion and education, rabbinical ethics and social justice. She teaches the one unit course, “Spiritual Well-Being and Religious Encounter.”
We are excited to announce that Esther Tsvayg, a student at Stanford University will moderate this event.
Esther is a Jewish, first-generation Stanford alum from Brooklyn, New York. She considers herself non-religious, but her Jewishness informs her queerness, and she is excited to explore that more with refuge’s speaker series. As a past employee of QSR’s and a published historian of HIV/AIDS, Esther is looking forward to teaching a class about working-class queer people’s history to high schoolers this spring, as well as moderating this panel!