Drinkwater and Shneer Discuss “Torah Queeries”

Join Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Boulder, Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC, Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, and the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder for an evening with co-editors Gregg Drinkwater and David Shneer for a discussion about the recently published “Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible“. This event on Tuesday, April 13 at 7 PM at the Boulder Public Library (1001 Arapahoe Avenue) is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase. RSVP’s are appreciated and can be made at www.jewishmovers.org or by calling 303.492.7143.

In the Jewish tradition, reading of the Torah follows a calendar cycle, with a specific portion assigned each week. These weekly portions, read aloud in synagogues around the world, have been subject to interpretation and commentary for centuries. Following on this ancient tradition, “Torah Queeries” brings together some of the world’s leading rabbis, scholars, and writers to interpret the Torah through a “bent lens.” With commentaries on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and six major Jewish holidays, the concise yet substantive writings collected here open up stimulating new insights and highlight previously neglected perspectives.

Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible” is edited by Gregg Drinkwater, Rabbi Joshua Lesser and David Shneer, with foreword by Judith Plaskow. This book was inspired by the online Torah commentary project launched by Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity in 2006, in collaboration with the World Congress of GLBT Jews.

Gregg Drinkwater is the executive director and one of the co-founders of Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity. Prior to joining Jewish Mosaic, Drinkwater worked in nonprofit communications, at a daily newspaper in Moscow, and as the news editor for San Francisco-based PlanetOut Inc., publishers of Gay.com and PlanetOut.com, the world’s most popular LGBT web sites. Drinkwater has served as a volunteer, board member or advisor to a wide range of Jewish, LGBT, and social justice organizations and is currently president of Limmud Colorado. Drinkwater earned his B.S. and M.A. degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also devoted several years to a Ph.D. in History.

David Shneer is an associate professor of History and the director of the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder. Called a “taboo-breaking scholar” by Tikkun magazine, Shneer’s work concentrates on modern Jewish society and culture, especially Yiddish culture, Russian Jewish history, and Jews and sexuality. He is the former director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver and one of the co-founders of Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity. His books include “Queer Jews,” finalist for the Lambda Literary award, “Yiddish and the Creation of Soviet Jewish Culture,” finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and “New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora,” which has sparked discussion in publications like the Economist and the Jerusalem Post. His newest book project, “Bearing Witness: Soviet Jewish Photographers, World War II & the Holocaust,” looks at the lives and works of two dozen World War II military photographers to examine what kinds of photographs they took when they encountered evidence of Nazi genocide on the Eastern Front. He has lived and worked as a scholar and writer in Russia, Germany, and Israel and has written for the New York Times, Huffington Post, Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post as well as magazines dedicated to Jewish life and culture, including Forward, Pakntreger, Jewcy, and Nextbook.

This event is presented as part of MoVeRs: Jewish Mavericks, Visionaries & Rebels, a year-long series of events that examines how Jews have often been at the forefront of social, cultural and political change. Through lectures, concerts, films, classes and performances, guests from around the world have been coming to the Boulder/Denver metro area to explore who such MoVeRs have been throughout history and what is it about Jewish culture that inspires such radicalism. The fifteen collaborating organizations who worked to make MoVeRs possible are Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, ADL, Congregation Bonai Shalom, Boulder JCCHadassah, Congregation Har HaShem, Hillel – University of Colorado, Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, Limmud Colorado, Menorah, Nevei Kodesh, Pardes LevavotProgram in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado, Soul Food and Tuv Ha’aretz. Events continue through May!

MoVeRs is presented with support from Rose Community Foundation, SCFD and the Goldberger Fund for Jewish Culture at the University of Colorado at Boulder. For more information, visit www.jewishmovers.org or call 303.492.7143.

About Jamie Polliard

Assistant Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder

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