a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for May 2012

The Strength of the Female Voice

Posted by: erika on: May 30, 2012

There were several times in high school when I swore I was pregnant.  Even though I did everything right, I insisted on condoms, secret stash of birth control from Planned Parenthood.  Still, there were times when my period would come days late and I just knew I’d gotten knocked up.  Thinking back, I’m not sure […]

Shavuot 5772

Posted by: erika on: May 27, 2012

A memo to the Hazon staff from our Executive Director, Nigel Savage. Thought I would share it with you as we wind down Shavuot. Dear All, Shavuot is a rabbinic holiday overlaid upon an agricultural one: chag hakatzir (the holiday of reaping the harvest) and yom habikkurim (the day of the first fruits) which then becamezman matan torateinu – the […]

day 48 of 50 The Broken Heart of Torah

Posted by: erika on: May 25, 2012

Jacqueline: (old siddur, with broken binding) I forgot to keep it simple, and so it broke Amichai: Sacred Jewish books, when broken and no longer useful, gain the status of human bodies, buried in graves, back in the ground. Words for us are serious business, sacred matter. Just like the containers of the word expire, […]

In Which I Exploit My Blog for Work

Posted by: erika on: May 24, 2012

Remember last year this time when I’d just lost my job?  It was the pits.  It was probably the hardest period of my life and somehow I made it through.  B”H I work for an amazing Jewish environmental organization called Hazon.  Hazon lines up with so many of my values and beliefs in terms of […]

Gender, Privilege and The Kotel (Western Wall)

Posted by: erika on: May 23, 2012

As you may have heard a few women were detained at the Kotel (Western Wall) this week.  They were praying in tallit, a prayer shawl some deem as male-only attire. When I was leaving Israel going through the “normal” shuffling of my items with the folks as Passport control an agent pulled my tallit bag […]

Big Gay Israel Trip-Season Two

Posted by: erika on: May 22, 2012

Last November I had the most extraordinary experience with twenty other LGBTQ Jews in Israel.  To say that it was rainbows and unicorns the entire time would be a lie-Israel is hard.  It’s full of contradictions of beauty, religion and justice.  I knew that I had to go and I hope to return again this […]

My new BFF

Posted by: erika on: May 21, 2012

On Wednesday night I interviewed Yitz Jordan, aka Y-Love for Jewcy.com. From Jewy.com:  “Hip hop artist Yitz “Y-Love” Jordan is more committed than ever to his Judaism. “Just because I came out doesn’t mean that I’ll start eating bread on Pesach or won’t observe the holidays,” Jordan explained passionately. “What does one have to do […]

Yet another Black Gay Jew!

Posted by: erika on: May 15, 2012

A while back I heard something that I wanted to shout from the rooftops.  A dear friend of mine mentioned in passing that she’d seen my favorite black Jewish rapper, Y-Love, rockin’ out at a gay bar.  My eyebrows shot up and a smile spread across my face just as quickly as she told me […]

It’s no secret that I’m ready to have a baby.  I’ve got baby on the brain.  So much so that I randomly ask male friends of mine if they would be willing to entertain the idea co-parenting with my partner and I. SCREECH!  Hold up, what did I just stumble upon.  If that’s what you’re […]

Hate Breeds Hate & Love Breeds Love?

Posted by: erika on: May 13, 2012

People tell me that I must be doing something right if I’m ruffling feathers and the haters come out of the woodwork.  I have to agree on some levels, but I don’t want the haters to come out of the woodwork, I want the haters to learn something. The non-violent stance that Civil Rights era […]


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