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National LGBT Jewish group launches Miami chapter led by Rabbi Aaron Katz (with video)

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News release from Nehirim:

Twice Blessed: Queer & Jewish in Miami

(New York), (NY), (August 18, 2010) -- Nehirim, a national organization that runs Jewish cultural and spiritual retreats for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Jews, partners, and allies, has started Nehirim Miami to serve the local community, led by Rabbi Aaron Katz.

Nehirim Miami has several events planned in the coming months, including a wine tasting event (August 26th); a shabbat dinner (August 27th), and lectures by Rabbi Katz on topics including “Preparation for the High Holidays,” “The Law of Teshuva: Repentance and Maimonidean Philosophy,” and “Introduction to Kabbalah.”

Nehirim is also planning its first Southeast Retreat, November 19-21, a weekend of spirituality, culture, relaxation and fun for GLBT Jews, partners, and allies.

Nehirim Assistant Director, Sasha T. Goldberg says the organization is made up of a “young, old, kosher, treyf eating, secular, religious, talented, culturally diverse, inspired bunch. We look at being Jewish and queer as a blessing."

Added Nehirim Executive Director, Michaelson, "So many of us have had to choose either GLBT identity or Jewish identity --Nehirim is a place where we celebrate having it all."

Founded in 2003, Nehirim is a pluralistic, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and is supported by the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, and the Jewish Community Foundation of San Francisco, as well as a network of individual supporters. For more information, please visit our website www.nehirim.org.

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Traditionally such behavior is not koesher.

There is a need in South Florida to educate not only on Jewish mysticism (something that has become, alas, terribly popular thanks to clichéd Madonna) but also on history, rabbinical traditions, The Torah, other scriptures, Halakhah, the Law, the Talmud, and Jewish poetry and philosophy. With such Hispanic population in the area, there needs to be a higher awareness of the tremendous contribution of Sephardim to Spanish culture. Nehirim is welcome and comes to fill a void in South Florida. Thank you!

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