LGBTQ@JTS: From Yesterday to Tomorrow

Date: Mar 19, 2017 - Mar 19, 2017

Time: 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Sponsor: Public Lectures and Events

Location: JTS

Category: Public Lectures & Events

Reflecting on a Landmark Decision

Join us for a conference, concert, and celebration to mark the tenth anniversary of JTS’s decision to admit openly gay and lesbian students to our rabbinical and cantorial schools.

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. 

We will reflect on the transformation of our institution—what has gone well, and what still needs to change? There will be plenaries, break-out sessions, food, and a celebratory party and concert featuring queer Jewish rock musician Ezra Furman.


Featured Speakers

  • Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Senior Rabbi, Adas Israel Congregation

Gil Steinlauf, senior rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC, is widely respected for his success in re-envisioning the nature of this historic synagogue. Rabbi Steinlauf is the first senior rabbi of a large, historic, Conservative congregation to come out as gay, and through his honesty, has sought to create an atmosphere of constructive dialogue on the issues facing modern culture and Judaism. 

  • Rabbi Benay Lappe, Founder and Rosh Yeshiva, SVARA

Rabbi Benay Lappe is the founder of SVARA, a “traditionally radical yeshiva” that studies Jewish text from a queer perspective. Ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1997, Benay is an award-winning educator specializing in the application of queer theory to Talmud study. Rabbi Lappe was named as one of the Forward’s “Most Inspiring Rabbis” in 2014 and is a 2016 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for innovative Jewish education.

  • Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, Founder and Spiritual Leader, Lab/Shul 

Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding spiritual leader of Lab/Shul NYC and the creator of Storahtelling, Inc. An Israeli-born Jewish educator, writer, and performance artist, he received his rabbinical ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary in 2016. Rabbi Amichai has been hailed as “an iconoclastic mystic” by Time Out New York, and in 2016 the Forward named him one of the 32 “Most Inspiring Rabbis” in America. 

Schedule of Events

Registration and Fees

  • Sunday conference (includes lunch), 12:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.: $25
  • Sunday dinner and concert/party, 6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.: $25
  • JTS student all-access pass: $10 


This event is made possible by support from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious & Social Studies at JTS, and the Program in Jewish Gender and Women’s Studies at JTS.