Miryam Kabakov has edited a new anthology that explores the reconciliation of LBTQ women and Orthodoxy. She will launch the book, Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires (North Atlantic Books), 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10 at the St. Paul JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave.
The book includes the first-person accounts of 14 lesbians as they shed new light on the experiences of individuals and communities who live at the intersection of conflicting sexual and religious identities. The women, who come from a range of backgrounds, discuss how they have reconciled their commitment to Orthodox Judaism, and how they have overcome hurdles to build families and participate in mainstream Orthodox Jewish culture.
“Each powerful essay challenges my preconceptions about the nature of religious lives and communities, about the gendered selves, and about the delights and constraints of Orthodox Judaism,” said Vanessa L. Ochs, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and author of Inventing Jewish Ritual. “Keep Your Wives Away from Them is a complex spirit journey that speaks of the longing for love and the search for comforting and comfortable identities.”
Following the book launch at 8:30 p.m., the documentary Keep Not Silent: OrthoDykes will be screened. This award-winning film explores the secret lives of three Orthodox Jewish lesbians who join an underground support group to cope with their conflicting worlds.
Kabakov is director of the Sabes Foundation Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival and the former coordinator of LGBT programming at the Manhattan JCC.
The cost is $5 for JCC members and $8 for the general community. For information, contact Rabbi Sharon Stiefel, Jewish education director, at 651-255-4737.