Finding a Worldwide Community While Sheltering in Place
We’re all stuck at home now, but you can still widen your horizons and find your worldwide community online. This might be a great time to get involved with the World Congress: Keshet Ga’avah!
Let me explain! The World Congress: Keshet Ga’avah [link to glbtjews.org], officially the World Congress of GLBT Jews, is an umbrella body providing a networking resource for LGBTQIA+ Jews from around the world to connect, engage, and support each other. The World Congress has member organizations around the globe, from Argentina to Europe to Australia, and strives to be the worldwide voice for LGBTQIA+ Jews.
Since its beginnings in 1975, with BCC as a founding member, the World Congress has challenged homophobia and sexism within the Jewish community, responded to anti-Semitism, and supported the growth of LGBT Jewish groups and communities globally. Some member organizations are congregations like BCC, while others pursue primarily social, cultural, and political activities. The World Congress has sponsored international conferences of LGBT Jews in cities around the US, Canada, Europe, Israel, Latin America, and Australia (2019), along with smaller regional conferences.
During these days of Coronavirus sheltering, I spent a recent Sunday reconnecting with the World Congress board of directors on a Zoom call of 17 people, reflecting an impressive diversity, both in gender and geography. While live conference plans are understandably on hold at present, plans are in the works for future events online or eventually in real life to bring everyone back together when all this blows over.
So if you’ve ever wondered what the colorful window decal on the glass door to the oneg room is about, now you know!
–Jonathan Falk served as secretary of the World Congress for 25 years, from 1993 – 2018, with a short hiatus, and as BCC’s delegate to the World Congress since 1990.