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The Viewpoints Committee celebrates the rich diversity of the Jewish community. Viewpoints presents a wide variety of programs that help the congregation grow and learn together about different segments of our family, especially the interfaith, Jews of color, and the LGBTQ communities. These programs involve speakers, films, readings, and performance artists who hail from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The one recurring program that Viewpoints sponsors is our Pride Shabbat in June. At that Shabbat there are special readings and speakers that highlight the LGBT Jewish experience.


Past Viewpoints programs include speakers from: Lambda Legal Foundation; Garden State Equality; Bechol Lashon; and Kulanu. Chanie Getter joined us for a program on the Process of Change, and Jane Larkin, author of From Generation to Generation: A Story of Intermarriage & Jewish Continuity, presented The Oys and Joys of Being the Parent or Grandparent of a Child in an Interfaith RelationshipWe have presented movies, including: Off and Running, Boy Meets Girl, Trans, and two Israeli films: The Secrets and Who’s Gonna Love Me Now. We have met regularly to watch and discuss the TV Reality Show Kosher Souls.


Viewpoints has also offered some special performance pieces, such as Milbre Burch’s show, Changing Skins and Vanessa Hidary’s, Kaleidoscope, and Sarah Aroeste, an international Ladino singer/songwriter, author and cultural activist, who sang and spoke on Ladino Music Transformed from Yesterday to Today. Another highlight of the Viewpoints programming was the three-day Artist-in-Residence in 2018. We sponsored the performance piece In Thy Tent I Dwell by Jônatas Chimen Dias DaSilva-Benayon, a Brazilian-American artist and a member of the Anousim, the Crypto-Jewish Community. In both his performance piece, art works, and presentations Jônatas represented the experiences of this community.


Programs for the year include:

Sunday, September 22, 2019 — Jewish Family Services of Philadelphia will present a leadership workshop on how to be a more welcoming, audacious community.


Sunday, November 24, 2019 — Saskia Keeley presents Beyond Sides - Toward Reconciliation, a discussion about her photography workshops with Palestinian and Israeli women. Click here for the registration flyer.





Saturday, January 11, 2020 — During this Shabbaton program, the film Family in Transition will be shown. Family in Transition is the story of a family in Nahariya, whose lives change completely after their father finally decides to tell his family that he's a transgender woman. Their mother chooses to stay with her spouse through the whole process, but just as it seems that life is back to normal, she takes a sharp turn and shakes everything up again. Click here for the flyer.


Friday June 12, 2020 — We will hold our Annual Pride Shabbat Service, featuring special readings and speakers that highlight the LGBTQ Jewish experience.


Viewpoints Film Series — The Viewpoints Committee is offering a series of Short Films, followed by discussions led by Rabbi Sirbu.

• October 9, 2019Black Hat – a film about LGBT in the religious Jewish community.

• October 27, 2019What We Left Behind, a short film about recovering Jewish artifacts from Iraq, and The Outer Circle, a film about an Iraqi Jewish Family and how they react when their son brings home a non-Jewsh woman.

• December 15, 2019Hannah Cohen's Holy Communion, the story about raising a Jewish child in a non-Jewish world


Viewpoints & Education Committees Israeli Film Festival 

• February 23, 2020Torn — a film about a Polish priest who discovers that he was born Jewish. His journey to return to Israel under the Law of Return is documented in the film. View flyer here.

• March 15, 2020Dimona Twist — a film about the experiences of the Arab Jews who settled in Israel after its founding. View flyer here.

• May 31, 2020The Golden Boys — a film about a group of senior gay men who meet at an Israeli community center.


Every year, the Viewpoints Committee presents programs like these, which can enlighten our community. We welcome your suggestions about future programming. Email

Temple Emeth's Artist-in-Residence Weekend featured Jônatas Chimen Dias DaSilva-Benayon, a Brazilian-American symbolist artist, author, and academic. He is a featured speaker for Kulanu (“all of us” in Hebrew), a group that supports isolated, emerging, and returning Jewish communities around the world. 

Elaine Barrett of PFLAG (center), spoke on "I'm Good if They're Happy," a talk about the joys and challenges of parenting LGBTQ children, at Temple Emeth's Annual Pride Shabbat Service, coordinated by the Viewpoints Committee. Also pictured, Karen Rappaport, committee chair, and Rabbi Sirbu.

Tue, August 11 2020 21 Av 5780