A Jewish learning series
relating ancient texts to modern sex


Presented by
GLOE - The Kurlander Program
for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement

at the Edlavitch DCJCC



As part of GLOE's mission to recontextualize Judaism for a modern LGBTQ community, we're introducing our Torah & Sexuality series of Jewish learning classes at the Edlavitch DCJCC. Each class will explore a different topic in Judaism that relates to sexual relations, identity, and/or expression — presented in a contemporary queer context by various rabbis and other Jewish educators. Classes are generally structured to provide an introduction of topical source texts with roughly a half-hour of chavruta (small group study) followed by another half-hour of larger group discussion.

All Torah & Sexuality programs are fully inclusive of all, regardless of gender expression, sexual identity, or ability. (For accommodation requests, please email gloe@edcjcc.org.)


April 17 || 7:00–8:00 PM || Edlavitch DCJCC
Jewish Texts & the Joy of Sex: What Torah Says About Sexual Pleasure
It is often assumed that religious authorities are prudish, determined to suppress all sexual enjoyment. However, this isn’t necessarily the case in Judaism. Join the Edlavitch DCJCC's Director of Jewish Engagement Darya Watnick and local Jewish educator Becca Benoff in an exploration of classical Jewish texts containing statements ancient rabbis have made about sex that might surprise you.


Exploring Esther & Female Sexuality in Judaism

February 20, 2018
In honor of Purim, the Edlavitch DCJCC's Director of Jewish Engagement Darya Watnick and local Jewish educator Becca Benoff led participants on a deep dive into Jewish text to uncover more about the biblical Queen Esther — who can arguably be considered an early feminist icon — and rabbinical teachings on the empowerment of female sexuality in Judaism. This class was sponsored by the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (JCADA).

Blood, Power, and Boundaries in Judaism

January 16, 2018
This class will look at the traditions of niddah, Jewish laws regarding the separation of menstruating women, and explore how to create meaningful boundaries for all couples, not just heteronormative relationships. Instructed by JoHanna Potts, Education Director and co-founder of The Jewish Studio.

#UsToo: Acknowledging the Reality of Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Community

December 6, 2017
Since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein have come to light, there has been a flood of further allegations against sexual perpetrators in all quarters of our society. It is time we acknowledge this problem openly as a community, and seek strength, insight and answers together. Rabbi Gil Steinlauf and Dr. Tamara Cofman Wittes of The Brookings Institution led one of the first conversations convened by a Jewish communal institution on the current sexual harassment/assault issues proving to be cultural flashpoints around the world — together, we explored Jewish insights on this problem, acknowledged the challenges, and discussed ways of taking collective action to stop sexual abuse and protect potential victims in our community. A special Torah & Sexuality event.

More Than Just Male & Female: The Six Genders in Judaism

October 17, 2017
In today's world, we are often discussing the fluidity of gender, preferred pronouns, and educating other about these topics. During ancient times, the Rabbis also discussed gender in its various forms, and even identified several different genders in classical Judaism. The Edlavitch DCJCC's Director of Jewish Engagement Darya Watnick and local Jewish educator Becca Benoff led a Torah study to delve into the multiple genders discussed throughout Jewish texts to learn what Judaism says about interpretations of gender.

The Touchy Subject of Masturbation

September 19, 2017
The inaugural Torah & Sexuality class focused on "The Touchy Subject" — exploring the biblical and rabbinical texts that discuss masturbation in all of its forms. Led by the Edlavitch DCJCC's Director of Jewish Engagement Darya Watnick and local Jewish educator Becca Benoff, class participants did a deep dive into text in order to fully grasp the reasoning behind common understandings around masturbation.



CLICK HERE to sign up for the bi-monthly GLOE eNewsletter to get updates on the latest Torah & Sexuality programs

DirectorJosef Palermo
(202) 777-3253 

GLOE Committee 
Michael Singer*

Members: Yoni Bock, Amy Cotton, Shane Cusumano, Myrna Fawcett*, Mindy Gasthalter, Jonathan ("Yoni") Gilad, Shannon Powers, Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser, and Rachel Wolkowitz
*Edlavitch DCJCC Board member

Founders/Chairs Emeriti
Alex Greenbaum
Stuart S. Kurlander, Esq.


Edlavitch DCJCC

1529 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

DC Jewish LGBTQ Community Partners


Bet Mishpachah

Social Groups:

Nice Jewish Boys 
Nice Jewish Girls
Gayyim DC: GBT Jewish men