25th Jewish LGBT+ World Congress
The premier global Jewish LGBT+ event for the first time in Sydney.
Emanuel Synagogue is hosting the 25th World Congress Jewish LGBT+ Conference to be held in Sydney from 21 – 24 March 2019. This is the first time the World Congress - Keshet Ga’avah has held its Conference in Australia. As a peak body, their mission is to be the worldwide voice of Jews of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
The theme of the conference has been drawn from the title of the book recently published by World Congress, Kol Koleinu (All Our Voices) which highlights the excellent work that they do. Delegates will be attending the conference from the United States, France, Amsterdam, Italy, Latin America, New Zealand, Israel and around the globe.
This event transforms the festival of Purim into a festival of ideas, creativity, community and diversity. Purim is traditionally a time when people dress-up, blur the lines of gender and generally have a lot of fun! While nothing can compare the impeccable standards of Emanuel Synagogue’s famous Purim Shpiel, the conference opens the following evening with “the Queerest Gender-Bending Purim Shpiel on the Planet” as well as an array of welcoming entertainment for delegates from around Australia and the world.
Each of us has a story to tell and this Conference is an opportunity to engage in the range of issues affecting Jewish LGBT+ communities around the globe. It also provides a platform to strengthen networks and promote solidarity – to ensure that people feel supported and inspired to participate in the ongoing conversation from a personal, communal and international perspective.
There are speakers attending from around the world bringing their wisdom, stories and insight as well as several inspiring luminaries from the Jewish LGBT+ world who will be making presentations via the internet in the newly-built state-of-the-art Synagogue. Anyone who attended Shir Madness can see the scope and vision for Emanuel Synagogue as a conference and cultural hub.
There is an open invitation to everyone to attend to “Welcome Home” Pride Kabbalat Shabbat service on the Friday Night (March 22 @ 6.15pm), which is sure to be a moving experience, followed by a dinner focused on Building Bridges sponsored by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. Shabbat includes a range of workshops and presentations happening concurrently. There will also be a queer-inspired tour of the Sydney Jewish Museum, including their recently added Human Rights exhibition which highlights LGBT+ issues, and there will also be a ceremony at the Gay & Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Green Park.
The focus moves toward principles of participation, collaboration, networking and community which have shaped the vision of a dedicated organising committee, who have been enthusiastically working to present a stimulating and engaging program of events.
The conference is open to whomever feel drawn to attend, regardless of peoples’ engagement with both the Jewish and LGBT+ communities. There will be opportunities to relate to similar and differing viewpoints which will provide a tapestry of possibility that can both enrich an individual sense of self, as well as inspire a deepening engagement with the communities in which we find ourselves.
The Conference will include presenters who can inspire, illuminate, and entertain from a range of perspectives. We are also delighted to bring together a team of highly trained and engaging facilitators, who will offer creative, challenging and rewarding approaches, to drive conversations across diverse viewpoints and lived experience. And you can be sure of a few wonderful surprises along the way – watch this space!
From its inception, this Conference has been enthusiastically supported by Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney Jewish Museum and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. The Conference will be held at Emanuel Synagogue, which has recently completed a state-of-the-art new Sanctuary, with all the technical requirements to live stream and provide coverage across the globe.
Emanuel Synagogue Members: You Can Be Involved
Homestay: Welcoming the Stranger
There has been a generous response to the callout for Homehosting, which is an excellent opportunity to host LGBT+ people from around the world, share stories, hospitality and create a wider bridge.
Hosts need to be in the general Eastern Suburbs vicinity. Contact World Congress to offer your home or discuss further: email@example.com
Mardi Gras Festival:
Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is not just the parade on Saturday 2 March 2019 There is a full program in the Mardi Gras Festival which kicks off 15 February 2019.
Mardi Gras Festival and Parade: Highlights
Sunday 17 February
Fair Day @ 10am Victoria Park, Broadway
Sunday 24 Febuary
@ 2pm Sydney Jewish Museum, Darlinghusrt
Friday 1 March
Mardi Gras Shabbat Service and Dinner
@ 6.15pm Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra
Saturday 2 March
“This is an excellent opportunity for Emanuel members to broaden their perspectives and learn more about LGBT+ culture. There is plenty to choose from including the Queerscreen Film Festival”, said Kim Gotlieb, Co-ordinator of the Conference and Dayenu.
This year there will be a float promoting the World Congress which will give people who may wish to show support, the opportunity to march with them. Perhaps you have children who are LGBT+, or you are LGBT+ parents. Perhaps you are simply motivated to show support and have a fun experience. Contact world congress Spaces are very limited.
Mardi Gras Festival Forum: Homophobia, Antisemitism & the Politics of Othering
World Congress is presenting this forum, which promises to provide an engaging and thought-provoking evening. It’s happening at 2pm on Sunday 24 February at the Sydney Jewish Museum. Check out the details and invite your friends to come along. A panel of diverse viewpoints will explore these ideas, before opening up to an engaging discussion which is sure to be both stimulating and worthwhile for all who attend.
Panel: Lynda Ben Menashe (NSW Board of Deputies), Julie McCrossin (well-known lesbian comedienne, Simon Holloway (Sydney Jewish Museum) and Kim Gotlieb (Dayenu & World Congress).The event is free but bookings are essential