I’ve been busy with a million things lately, mostly good. Work is busy. The freelance stuff I’m doing keeps me busy. I’ve put in a lot of hours at Keshet events and meetings. Somehow I’ve managed to have a social life on top of that. And I picked up a new volunteer commitment, serving on the Diversity Council for The Theater Offensive, a fantastic GLBT theater company in Boston that is looking to bring youth (aged 14-22) into leadership positions throughout their lay (and possibly professional?) structure.
Tomorrow I am guest-teaching a class at Prozdor, my first time back since leaving my full-time job there this past June. My friend Stacey teaches a class on “Hot Topics in Judaism,” and she asked me to come be the guest homosexual for the class. I agreed, but said that the topic couldn’t be “homosexuality.”
You see, for these kids — mostly (but not entirely) liberal, suburban, white, middle-class Jews — homosexuality isn’t a hot topic. It’s just an element of the world they live in. They might have some sense that traditional Jewish law has something to say about the buttsex, but the majority of these kids don’t live their lives by traditional Jewish law anyway.
So I told Stacey we had to settle on a specific hot topic that involves gay people in Jewish life, so we decided to focus on the brouhaha over The New Jersey Jewish Standard caused when it printed a same-sex wedding announcement and then subsequently printed an apology for causing pain to the Orthodox community by doing so.
I’m a little curious if I will get into any trouble, mostly because I can’t present the two sides to this story as being valid. I don’t believe the rabbis who caused a stink with The Standard did so in good faith, and the “hot topic” really at play here is one of integrity in a pluralistic community. But hell, I don’t work for the school any more, so if anyone wants to complain that I’m indoctrinating their kids, I won’t have to be the one to take the phone call.