NOW AVAILABLE: Kulanu: All of Us Revised and Expanded Edition Manual for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion in Reform Jewish Life
August 7, 2007New YorkAt a time when some religious communities are bitterly divided over issues of GLBT rights and inclusion, the Union for Reform Judaism has published a major revision of its 10-year-old guide on welcoming individuals into the community regardless of sexual orientation or gender. With more than 500 pages of updated information, the Kulanu: A Program for Implementing Gay and Lesbian Inclusion is a testament to the Reform Movements commitment to full participation of everyone in its congregations.
I believe that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews in our midstour children, our relatives, and our friendare in great need, as are we all of spiritual support, said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism in the Statement of Purpose for the new edition.
Among the items included in the guide are services for same-sex commitment and marriage ceremonies, a prayer for the transitioning of genders, and classroom lessons focusing on the spiritual needs of both GLBT members and the community. Kulanu also includes seven new personal stories including, Neil Spencer Welles A Gay Jewish Divorce, Inbal Kashtans A Traditional Jewish Lesbian Wedding and TJ Michels and Ali Cannons Whose Side Are You On? Transgender at the Western Wall.
In the ten years since the first edition of Kulanu was published there has been great progress in the way the Jewish community in general and the Reform synagogue community in particular has welcomed GLBT Jews. This edition of Kulanu will continue to pave the way towards total inclusion of GLBT individuals and families in Reform Jewish Life.
The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.