Jewish Journal

Israel’s growing community of Orthodox lesbians

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 20, 2008 | 6:54 pm

I’m so behind on The Jewish Journal’s cover story for this week that I will certainly, and hopelessly, be writing all night. I blame blogging, which has been sapping my time lately. But I just can’t stay mad at Google Reader and all the wonderful stories it brings me, and, really, I am the one who deserves blame because I lack anything resembling the discipline that would heal my obsessive desire to share insights and links.

So, on this post I’m ducking out of the former and just giving you the latter, an interesting story from Ha’aretz about the growing “out” movement for Orthodox lesbians.

“The parade moseyed along slowly. Here and there one could hear catcalls, balloons in the colors of gay pride were tossed about by the breeze, and homosexuals and lesbians marched together under the watchful eyes of hundreds of police.

And then, suddenly, several women grabbed each other’s hands and broke into a dance. At that very moment, as the members of the religious lesbian group Bat Kol danced in the Orthodox style and throatily sang “Lo lefahed clal” (“Not to Fear at All”), it was clear beyond a doubt: You can come out of the closet, you can live with another woman and move to Tel Aviv, but the legacy of the Bnei Akiva Zionist Orthodox youth movement is ineradicable.

Less than five years after local religious lesbians’ grand emergence from the closet, manifested in the establishment of Bat Kol and participation in the gay pride parades, they still stand up for certain principles in their upbringing.

The members of Bat Kol are increasingly declaring their affiliation with the religious public, in the clearest and most natural way they know: by establishing households in Israel. In a relatively short time, their numbers have grown from just a few in 2004 to 150 registered members in 2008. About half are living as couples, and are asserting - both verbally and through their actions - the intention to realize their right to motherhood.

The baby boom among religious lesbians began ...”

The rest is here.

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