Beyond Survival: Using Self-reflexive Writing and Theatre to Re-member, Transform, and Heal from Traumatic Historiographies
This workshop will explore frameworks and practices of remembering and memorializing personal and intergenerational traumas in the aim of individual and collective transformation and healing. An introductory memoir-based presentation will reflect on ways of remembering traumatic histories that have perpetuated sexist oppression, racial/ethnic discrimination, patriarchy, and hegemony within families and communities. The presentation will continue with short personal performance and writing pieces and accompanying analysis to explore alternative and liberatory approaches to remembering through art. This workshop emerges out of the presenter's particular experiences and perspectives as a female feminist artist queer Jewish incest survivor.
Sakaja has been a devoted thinker and dreamer for the last twenty one years. She is currently engaged in speaking from the voice within through performance, theatre, writing, talking, dreaming, and loving. She looks forward to embarking on whatever the universe has in store for her next.
Breaking Up With Oppression: Re-imagining Ourselves and Our Ancestors
In this interactive, dialogic workshop, we will examine our conceptions of, and lived experiences with both current and historic manifestations of oppression (i.e. Anti-semitism, Transgender Oppression, Heterosexism, etc.) We will also explore the linkages between these forms of oppression and other forms such as racism, classism, sexism, ableism, etc. This workshop is geared towards liberation! We will explore oppression as it manifests in our bodies and psyches within a framework of imagining what else is possible in our individual and collective movement towards new ground and new embodiment of our queer, Jewish (and allied) selves; we will do this through movement, guided meditation, word-mapping, dialogue, and more!
Elaine Brigham is an educator who leads and facilitates trainings and workshops on social justice issues for schools, summer camps, and at conferences; she does social justice work with people of all ages, teaches courses, and facilitates Intergroup Dialogue in the Five Colleges. As a white queer woman raised in a working class, multi-faith family (Jewish and Quaker), Elaine is committed to anti-oppression, liberation, and social change, drawing from her own identities and life experiences. Elaine was the coordinator of LGBTQA Student Support and Services at Amherst College and leads a spiritually based, arts and outdoor, social justice-focused summer camp for young people.
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Jules Skloot is a dancer, choreographer, teaching artist and educator, who graduated from Hampshire College and went on to earn an MFA in dance from Sarah Lawrence College. As a white, Jewish, queer, working artist and transperson, Jules is committed to transformation at the place where spiritual work, social justice work, and artistic practice overlap, connecting movement to “The Movement” through embodied practice. Jules teaches movement related classes and workshops in both public and Jewish schools, summer camps, community organizations, and at the college level, and leads a spiritually based, arts and outdoor, social justice-focused summer camp for young people.
Kofer le'Ofer: Exploring Same-Sex Desire in Medieval Sephardic Poetry
This workshop will explore different manifestations of desire in Hebrew poetry from medieval Spain. After first questioning various potential labels, we will look at a sampling of poetry from this period and place it in its cultural and historical context. We will examine the trope of homoerotic desire as metaphor, and discuss strategies for explaining this phenomenon. No knowledge of Hebrew or queer theory required; the poems will be presented both in Hebrew and English.
Noam Sienna is pursuing a master's in Jewish education at Brandeis University, focusing on teaching TaNaKh at the middle/high school level. They also have a B.A. from Brandeis University in Anthropology, Classics and Religious Studies; their honours thesis was on the topic of Jewish henna traditions and the construction of ethnic identity in Israel.
Queer Spirituality in Other Faiths and Beyond
We will briefly look at Queer theology in Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Neo-Paganism. Then we will explore the spirituality of Queerness and what one's own spirituality does/might look like.
Liza Neal is the director of Spiritual Life at Hampshire College and a Hampshire alum. She lives in Northampton with her partner, daughter, 3 dogs, and 2 cats. Want to know more? Come to her workshop!
Relational Community Organizing for LGBTQ Justice
How do we build, maintain, and leverage authentic, meaningful, powerful relationships in our organizing for LGBTQ inclusion and justice? How do we connect with potential allies across lines of difference? How do we translate our values and personal stories into powerful tools for creating change? How do we build and analyze power in our communities to take effective action? This workshop will teach and explore effective tools for relational organizing and how they can be applied to organizing for LGBTQ inclusion.
Joanna Ware, Lead organizer and training coordinator, has been with Keshet since 2009. Joanna employs grassroots community organizing to build powerful communities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied people working for justice, equality, and the full inclusion of LGBT people in the Jewish world. Nationally, Joanna organizes Jewish institutional leaders to enact transformative change in their communities. In Massachusetts, Joanna directs Keshet’s organizing in the Jewish community on behalf of gender justice and trans equality, and represents Keshet on the Interfaith Coalition of Trans Equality. Joanna has been organizing and teaching with teens and adults for over 10 years, and brings experience in Jewish camping and youth work, violence and abuse prevention and education, reproductive justice organizing, and political organizing and policy advocacy. Joanna is an alumna of Antioch College, with a degree in women, gender, and queer studies, Middle East studies, and politics.
So Have You Talked About Conversion?: Queer Interfaith Relationships
There are multiple barriers to finding a place within the Jewish community, including being queer and being in an interfaith relationship. So what happens when you encompass both? This session is a place to discuss the joys, complications, and hardships of being in a queer, interfaith relationship, however you define that in your relationships. This discussion will be a safe space for anyone in or interested in queer, interfaith relationships.
Sarah Danson identifies as a queer Jew. She is a recent graduate of Hampshire College, where she studied radio production and music history. She currently works at Hampshire College as a fundraiser and lives in Northampton with her fiancee Sasha Allegretta-Fuller.
Sasha Allegretta-Fuller is a research fellow in a cell biology lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a recent graduate of Hampshire College, where she studied behavioral neuroendocrinology. She is in the process of converting to Judaism and currently lives in Northampton with her fiancée Sarah Danson.
This workshop is an introduction to "pinkwashing," the use of gay rights by corporations and nations to appear more tolerant, by Zionist organizations and Israel itself. What are queer activists doing in response, and what does this mean for us as queer Jews? If you've always wanted to know more about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or have questions about the role of queers in anti-occupation work, this is a great place to start.
Tallie Ben Daniel is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Studies at the University of California, Davis. She is writing her dissertation on pinkwashing in the U.S. and Israel.
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