Queer Healing: AIDS, Gay Synagogues, Lesbian Feminists, and the Origins of the Jewish Healing Movement
Please join us for our annual Fall Welcome Lunch & Lecture with Dr. Gregg Drinkwater, Program Director for the Antisemitism Education Initiative which is a project of UC Berkeley's Center for Jewish Studies.
Dr. Drinkwater's talk is titled "Queer Healing: AIDS, Gay Synagogues, Lesbian Feminists, and the Origins of the Jewish Healing Movement" and will trace the origins of the Jewish healing movement as it emerged in the late 1980s. We will look back to the movement's roots in gay and lesbian synagogues, grassroots networks of lesbian and feminist Jewish activists, and most importantly, the unfolding emotional and physical trauma of the AIDS crisis. These activists and communal leaders brought a sensibility grounded in both gay and lesbian and feminist communities which emphasized communal, public, and participatory engagement with questions of gender, the body, intimacy, and the personal. This gay, lesbian, and feminist sensibility rendered visible those embodied experiences, such as illness and frailty, previously pushed to the margins within public Jewish space.
Dr. Gregg Drinkwater is Program Director for the Antisemitism Education Initiative, a project of UC Berkeley’s Center for Jewish Studies. An award-winning scholar of Judaism, gender, and sexuality, he earned a PhD in U.S. history and Jewish studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current book project, “Rebuilding American Judaism: How LGBTQ Jews Transformed an American Religious Community,” explores the involvement of American Jews with gay liberation, radical feminism, and the creation of LGBTQ subcultures. Prior to entering academic life, Drinkwater worked as a researcher and advocate for LGBTQ inclusion and social justice in the Jewish community through the organizations Jewish Mosaic and Keshet. He is the co-editor of the book Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible (NYU Press, 2009).
This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies at UC Berkeley: