Alternative Winter Break 2016 Post Embracing the Other – Lyndsey Lipson
By Sharon Schoenfeld
Today we visited a Jewish queer organization called JQSA. After learning about what all of the letters in the acronym LGBTQA stood for, we examined the scale of hostility and acceptance of the queer community. This truly opened my eyes about my community back in New Jersey. My community is relatively accepting of the LGBTQ+ community but not nearly as accepting as a place such as Los Angeles. For example, there was a woman in my town who grew up as an orthodox Jew, but later came out as lesbian to her family and community. While the orthodox community did not embrace her, my conservative synagogue did, causing her to join my temple. During the presentation by JQSA I could not stop thinking about this woman and my community because it made me wonder how I could make it a more friendly and accepting place. No one wants to be pushed out of their Judaism due to an unchangeable thing in their lives. When I go back home I want to find a way to make my community as a whole a more embracing environment because I would never want to be put in a situation where I would have to choose between my true self and my religion.
~ Lyndsey Lipson is a 10th grader from East Brunswick, NJ. She is currently working on building a YJ club in her area.