Click here to view a video recording of this CLGS Jewish Queeries Series event!
Although Jews have been practicing polyamory since the days of Hagar, Sarah, and Abraham, the practice is a cultural taboo among contemporary mainstream Jews. This is mainly due to legitimate concerns about male privilege and women’s rights. However, a new generation of queer feminist Jews are dramatically revisioning polyamory as a form of gender and human liberation.
In this CLGS Jewish Queeries Series event we welcomed Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi, Rae Antonoff, MAJE, and Rabbi Erik Uriarte who explored ways to re-envision polyamory.
Rabbi Nikki DeBlosi holds a BA, MA, and PhD in fields deeply grounded in queer theory and owes much to her professors Ann Pellegrini and Jose E Munoz (of blessed memory), whose work uplifts the idea of utopia as a critique of the present. For many of us, queer and poly relationships challenge a status quo that is restricting. Rabbi Nikki is bringing her personal experience, academic background, and rabbinic ordination together to challenge existing norms and expand belonging for all people in our communities.
Rae Antonoff, MAJE, is a Jewish curriculum designer, artist, and Director of Education at an LGBT+ synagogue in Los Angeles, where her spouse and their other partners have been openly polyamorous for over a decade. She has led virtual and in-person workshops in Los Angeles and at conferences around the country on Jewish art, Hebrew, accessibility in Jewish education, Jewish perspectives on ethical non-monogamy, and more.
Rabbi Erik Uriarte’s parents are the daughter of a holocaust survivor and a Nicaraguan political refugee. A child of an interfaith and interracial couple, Erik spent his formative years in the Bay Area and developed friendships with people of diverse racial backgrounds, sexual and gender identities, and other “alternative” life practices. He is committed to creating Jewish spaces that are genuinely inclusive through education, understanding, and trust, especially for people who feel uncomfortable in normative institutions.
Rae and Erik founded “Shabbat for Interesting Jews,” a monthly Shabbat dinner gathering that brought together people from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, as well as people who identified as having relationships of a BDSM or ethical non-monogamous nature, in a way that was open, accepting and focused on the enjoyment of food and community with the freedom to be their fully authentic selves in a Jewish space.