MoVeRs welcomes author, scholar and activist Jay Michaelson for two special events in Boulder and Denver beginning Monday, March 8. Jay is the author of three books and two hundred articles on the intersections of Judaism, spirituality, sexuality, and law. A columnist for the Forward, Huffington Post, Zeek, Tikkun, Hadassah, and Reality Sandwich magazines, Jay’s work on the inclusion of sexual minorities in religious communities has been published in anthologies including “Mentsh: On Being Jewish and Queer”, “Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice” (2007), “Jews and Sex” and “Torah Queeries” and featured in The New York Times and NPR. His gay-themed fiction and poetry has been published in Ganymede, Blithe House Quarterly, Zeek, and in anthologies including “Best Gay Poetry 2008” and “Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling.” In addition to his writing, Jay is the executive director of Nehirim, a national organization which builds community for GLBT Jews, partners, and allies. He holds a J.D. from Yale, and is completing his Ph.D in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has held teaching positions at Boston University Law School, City College of New York, and Yale University.
Monday, March 8 at 7 PM Jay will be at the Boulder JCC for readings and discussions of his new book, “Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism.” This exploration of the radical, yet ancient, idea that everything and everyone is God will transform how you understand your life and the nature of religion itself. While God is conventionally viewed as an entity separate from us, there are some Jews- Kabbalists, Hasidism, and their modern-day heirs- who assert that God is not separate from us at all. In this nondual view, everyone and everything manifests God. For centuries a closely guarded secret of Kabbalah, nondual Judaism is a radical reorientation of religious life that is increasingly influencing mainstream Judaism today. This program is presented by Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC and co-sponsored by the Program in Jewish Studies at CU and Soul Food.
Tuesday, March 9 at 7 PM he will be presenting “Ten Reasons Why Gay Rights is a Religious Issue” at the University of Denver, Sturm Hall Room 286. Presented by Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity and co-sponsored by The Program in Jewish Studies at CU, DU’s Center for Multicultural Excellence, Hillel at DU, Judaism Your Way and DU’s Queer Straight Alliance.
The Christian Right has succeeded in characterizing opposition to rights as a religious issue– but what about gay rights? Unlike African-American civil rights (but like feminism), few supporters of gay rights have made their case in religious terms: that is, why gay rights is a moral cause. Yet in the wake of several same-sex marriage defeats, characterizing gay rights as purely a secular issue of civil liberties is a tactical and philosophical mistake. In fact, there are several reasons why, if one is religious, one should be for equality for sexual minorities.
To learn more or RSVP for these events, visit www.jewishmovers.org.