Queer Jews: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Queer Jews

1st Edition

Edited by David Shneer, Caryn Aviv


304 pages

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Paperback: 9780415931670
pub: 2002-06-28
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pub: 2002-07-05
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Queer Jews describes how queer Jews are changing Jewish American culture, creating communities and making room for themselves, as openly, unapologetically queer and Jewish. Combining political analysis and personal memoir, these essays explore the various ways queer Jews are creating new forms of Jewish communities and institutions, and demanding that Jewish communities become more inclusive.


"Queer Jews is so exuberantly queer that it changes the old adage, 'When you're in love, the whole world is Jewish' to 'When you're in heat, the whole world is.' This collection from women and men is chock full of shtemme,' soul." -- Lambda Book Report

"Queer Jews welcomes us into the worlds and the lives of Jews who identify as queer: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. These twenty-one essays-by Hebrew school teachers, principals, rabbis, Jews in the pews, and those who define themselves as secular-challenge readers to wrestle not only with sexual diversity, but also with gender identity…The contributors to this bold collection write with clarity, a healthy measure of chutzpah, and hope that their words will establish a permanent place of recognition and honor for the thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning Jews who gather at family and communal tables across our Jewish world." -- LILITH

"We've been long overdue for the book that shows where queer Jewish thought has been over the last few years-and more importantly-where it's headed. Queer Jews addresses just about every aspect of queer Jewish experience, and does so with insight, humor, and a whole lot of chutzpah. This book has vitally important things to teach anyone and everyone who picks it up." -- Danya Ruttenberg, editor of Yentl's Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism

"Shneer and Aviv have assembled a first-rate collection of essays that will permanently alter all perceptions about Queer Jews. These vivid, cutting edge tales of the lives of transgender, bisexual, gay and lesbian Jews delight and challenge. If this book reflects the state of queer thinking in Jewish life, we may indeed count our blessings." -- Rebecca Alpert, author of Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition

"A youthful vision of the dynamic intersection of what it means to be Jewish and gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. Bravo/a to the editors for compiling such a wide-ranging spectrum of thinking on the topic." -- Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, West Hollywood's Reform Synagogue

"Fresh, original, and provocative essays will challenge readers of Queer Jews to think more deeply about being Jewish, gendered, and sexed. A rare book, with new and exciting ideas." -- Susannah Heschel, co-editor of On Being a Jewish Feminist

"In the best prophetic tradition, Queer Jews pushes the envelope of possibilities for what Jewish community and identity can be." -- Rabbi Yoel H. Kahn, scholar-in-residence, Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco

"Queer Jews is a fun book which delicately balances politics and humor, GBLT and Jewish identity and humanity with spirituality…[The authors'] voices, and the stories they told, made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think. Don't forget to buy a few copies for your parents, rabbis, friends and lovers." -- The Empty Closet

"The book should appeal to a wide readership. The first-person story of Steve Greenberg, an openly gay Orthodox rabbi, is as inspiring as the confession-style tribulations of anonymous, closeted rabbinical students are painful. Eve Sicular plumbs the academic depths of Yiddish cinema, finding queer contexts from the 1930's in films like Yidl Mitn Fidl. Meanwhile Sandi Simcha Dubowski's free-form diary charts the progress of his truly ground-breaking film, Trembling Before G-d, as he took it to film festivals across the globe, offering proof that there are queers who are also quite frum (religiously observant) despite the real threat of excommunications from their congregations." -- Gay City News

"The collection has taken important strides in redefining the boundaries of Jewish America, as well as the Queer community, by insisting that the voices of Queer Jews be heard--and accounted for." -- Gender Agenda

About the Editors

David Shneer is Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of Denver and former Director of Education at Congregation Sha'ar Zahav in San Francisco.

Caryn Aviv is a sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who currently directs the Program for Collaborative Care at the UCSF Breast Care Center.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General