World Congress of GLBT Jews to hold Shabbaton in D.C.

The World Congress of GLBT Jews, with Bet Mishpachah and GLOE as co-hosts are holding a Shabbaton in Washington DC, at the DC Jewish Community Center, next month from April 8th to April 10th. The Program and contact information is detailed below. The World Congress is a networking resource for LGBTQ Jews from around the world to connect, engage, and support on regional, national, continental, and global levels.

The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah consists of organizations in Argentina, Australia, Italy, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. See the full list on the members page .

Speakers at the Shabbaton events include:

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Harry Samuels, Dana Beyer, Julia Watts Belser, Chai Feldblum

Friday, April 8, 2016

Chai Feldblum, Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Chai Feldblum will discuss upcoming challenges and opportunities for the LGBT community, including various ways to secure employment protection for LGBT people in the workplace. Among her many accomplishments, Commissioner Feldblum is the first openly lesbian commissioner of the EEOC, one of the founders of the Georgetown University Law Center’s Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, and one of the leading advocates behind the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. She may be best known, however, as the principal drafter and advocate behind the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, the law, which extended the principles and protections of nondiscrimination to individuals with disabilities.

Saturday afternoon, April 9

Rabbi Julia Watts Belser, Professor, Georgetown University

Rabbi Belser’s work explores common threads among Jewish studies, queerness, feminism, and disability. She will lead us in a lively, interactive workshop to discuss issues of stigma, difference, and diversity arising from both classic Jewish texts and contemporary feminist poetry, and to explore the potent intersections between queer and disability politics. Among her many honors and publications, Rabbi Belser serves on the Board of the Society of Jewish Ethics, holds leadership positions in the American Academy of Religion, and is the author of A Health Handbook for Women With Disabilities and Jewish Values and Disability Rights, which will soon be published by the Jewish Funders Network.

Sunday afternoon, April 10

Dana Beyer, M.D., Politician and Activist

Dana Beyer, a retired eye surgeon and mother of two adult children, is Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland, board chair at Freedom to Work, and writes a weekly column for the Huffington Post. She works in early venture capital and serves on the board of Keshet, the national Jewish LGBT education and outreach organization; A Wider Bridge, building a stronger relationship between LGBT communities in Israel and North America; the J Street National Finance Committee; and the steering committee of Progressive Neighbors, Montgomery County’s leading progressive advocacy group. She is Vice Chair of the Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland, a member of the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame, and an appointed member of the Montgomery County Committee on Hate/Violence. She ran for the Maryland state Senate in 2014.

Harry Samuels, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Government Affairs Associate

Harry Samuels is AJWS’s D.C.-based Government Affairs Associate, where he supports the office’s government affairs work and is the policy point-person for our U.S.-government LGBT rights advocacy effort. Outside of AJWS, Harry teaches indoor cycling classes at a studio on Capitol Hill, and volunteers with HIPS, which provides public hour outreach services to sex workers and drug users in D.C. He has previously worked at Planned Parenthood of New York City, the U.S. House of Representatives and served on the National Student Board of J Street U. He is a graduate of Brown University.

The Program:

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Email Barbara “Goldy” Goldberg at 1 for more information or to make a reservation for the tours or lunch.

To make a reservation for the Shabbaton dinner, please visit

The cost for the Shabbaton dinner is $33 (USD).


About World Congress of GLBT Jews Webpage:

Our vision is an environment where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Jews worldwide can enjoy free and fulfilling lives.

In support of our vision, our goals are:

  • To be a worldwide voice of LGBTQ Jews
  • To support, inspire, and strengthen local groups
  • To foster a sense of community among diverse individuals and organizations
  • To achieve equality and security for LGBTQ Jews worldwide.

Guiding Principles
To achieve our goals, we value:

  • Diversity among groups and individuals
  • Self-determination and respect for the autonomy of local organizations and individuals
  • Transparent organizational structure; and
  • Close ties between LGBTQ Israelis and LGBTQ Jews around the world.

Melanie Nathan [email protected]

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