The LGBT Community and Orthodoxy

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Dr. Marshall Korenblum,
Rabbi Chaim Rapoport,
Dr. Elliott Malamet,
Carol Seidman,
Rabbi Steven Greenberg,
Yeshaya Grossman
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In 1861 Rav Yaakov Ettlinger penned what is likely the most revolutionary response of modern times; one that allowed, for the first time in Jewish history, those who publicly desecrated the Shabbat to remain part of the observant Jewish community. It allowed for the existence of the "non-Orthodox, Orthodox" and successfully kept many within the fold of Orthodoxy despite their very public desecration of laws for which the Torah calls for a death penalty. To date the Orthodox community has not successfully paved a path for keeping those in the LGBT community within Orthodoxy. This inability has driven many in the LGBT community out of Orthodoxy, despite their desire to remain part of the Orthodox community. We have assembled a group of outstanding panelists each representing an important perspective on this issue. Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, Spiritual leader of the BAYT will give introductory remarks Rabbi Chaim Strauchler, Spiritual leader of Shaarei Shomayim Congregation will give closing remarks Dr. Elliott Malamet will be moderating the panel Our panelists in alphabetical order: Rabbi Steve Greenberg has rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University. He is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Diversity Project at CLAL - the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and the author of the book Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition which received the Koret Jewish Book Award for Philosophy and Thought in 2005. He is the founder and director of Eshel, a support, education and advocacy organization for Orthodox LGBQT Jews. He is also on the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Dr. Marshall Korenblum is Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre for Children in Toronto, and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is on staff at the Youth Psychiatry Division of Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospital. He has consulted to Jewish Family and Child Service, as well as the Toronto and North York Boards of Education, and has a private practice in adolescent psychiatry. He has won numerous teaching awards, and has published in the area of depression and personality disorder in adolescence. Rabbi Chaim Rapoport, born in Manchester, England, attended the Yeshivot of Manchester, Gateshead, Torat Emet in Jerusalem and the central Lubavitch Yeshivah in New York. He is the author of the widely acclaimed 2004 book Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View. He has been the Rav of synagogues in Birmingham and Ilford and was a member of the Chief Rabbi's cabinet and advisor to then Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on issues of medical ethics. Rabbi Rapoport is consulted globally on issues related to Orthodoxy and LGBT. Carol Seidman has been an outstanding community professional for many years, with service to the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation of Mt. Sinai Hospital as well as many other organizational contributions. Carol has been a frequent guest lecturer and popular media personality, featured in City Woman Magazine, National Post Business, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and The Canadian Jewish News. She has been the recipient of many honours, including the Karen McGibbon Award of Excellence (1999) and The Meloche Monnex Prize, Gold Medal (1995). She will be speaking from the perspective of a parent of a gay child.