US: At LGBT Orthodox conference, rabbis & therapists trade notes

In light of several recent Religious Freedom laws here in the United States and public spotlights on controversial conversion therapies, faith and sexuality have once again been cast as opposing forces. A groundbreaking conference sought to reconcile the two, convening religious leaders, mental health professionals and educators to discuss best practices for serving members of the Orthodox Jewish LGBT community.

The event attempted to bridge the gap between the unique struggles that LGBT people face in religiously observant communities and the latest research on psychological treatment by bringing together two professions not often in conversation with one another.

“Having therapists and rabbis in the room together talking about this topic is so necessary,” said Jeremy Novich, a clinical psychologist who attended both in a professional capacity and on a personal level, as a self-identified gay Orthodox Jew.  “How can we ensure that LGBTQ people in the Orthodox community are safe, how can we ensure that LGBTQ people in the Orthodox community aren’t suffering… that’s a question that’s posed to the rabbis, to the parents, & schools.”   Read More