The point that I'm getting at is that Jewish culture doesn't really have a ton of gay infusion, aside from the occasional gossip you hear at bar mitzvahs and other events about so and so's nephew being a faggela. Because of our history of being persecuted, a massive part of our current culture revolves around procreation. So, when I was a kid, I didn't think it possible to meet a Prince Charming, let alone a Prince Moses Hershenbaum.
But today's gay Jewish teens just might see the light at the end of the tunnel, because a few Jewish youth groups have banded together to tell them that anti-gay bullying is not okay. The Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders has joined a campaign to halt bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in participating organizations. The national endeavor is being spearheaded by Keshet, an LGBT Jew group.
The Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders is made up of the presidents of the National Federation of Temple Youth (reform Judaism), the B'Nai Brith Youth Organization and the United Synagogue Youth (conservative Judaism). Not only have these leaders pledged to end bullying in their own organizations, but they have pledged to help Keshet find 18,000 signatures as part of the “Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives.” The number 18 symbolizes life in the Jewish religion.
As part of the response to the highly-publicized suicides of gay teenagers across North America, the Coalition has decided the anti-gay bullying is a vital concern. Each organization has developed resources to help its own members promote inclusive environments. So for all of you gay Jewish teens out there looking for hope, you just might be able to find it in your own communities. And all I have to say is: L'Chaim (to life).