It may have taken god just six days to create the universe, but he’s gonna have to be more forgiving to the human running queer Jewish groups: They need more than two days to reach a consensus.
After a recent round of mergers that consolidated four leading groups into two (in May, the National Union of Jewish LGBTQ Students merged with Nehirim; in June, Jewish Mosaic merged with Keshet), activists from the groups and other interested parties (rabbis and congregation leaders, youth group chiefs) met late last month in Berkeley to “forge a strategic vision to inspire and guide our actions over the next three years.” Okay! So how did the National LGBT Jewish Professionals Retreat go? The Forward relays:
The incentive for all the groups to arrive at a shared vision was in the room: The primary funders of this work would prefer to be solicited from fewer organizations with a common agenda. That did not happen. After days of wide-ranging discussions, organizers Gregg Drinkwater and Idit Klein hoped participants would be able to articulate common goals in one final four-hour session. Instead, the conversation broke down, as many participants expressed a need for more time to build relationships. But time had run out.
The idea that four organizations that had never before met face to face would emerge from a three-day event with a common vision and full-fledged action plan proved optimistic, and spoke to the inexperience of the organizers in building a movement (as opposed to building an organization or campaign).
Whatever happened to just reclining, eating, and being merry? To next year in Jerusalem! Or Berkeley.
(And can I get a mazel for squeezing in three Yiddish words into the headline? And making a sex joke with a dreidel? No?)