Lecture / Reading

Queerness & Judaism Speaker Panel

Sponsored by Stanford Refuge, Queer Student Resources, Office for Religious & Spiritual Life


Sunday, February 21, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
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This Queerness & Judaism Panel features Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Rabbi Reuben Zellman, and Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann.

What does it mean to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and queer identity with a spiritual and/or religious journey? What does it mean to be a sexual and/or gender minority and belong to a faith tradition? How can we ask these questions to prepare ourselves to transform the world? These are the motivations behind the Inaugural Stanford Speaker Series on Queerness, Spirituality, and Religion. For LGBTQIA+ identified people, these questions speak to a long history of rejection, reconciliation, and joy. But the topics at hand are relevant to social, political, and cultural questions which all parts of humanity might find themselves asking. Inclusion and exclusion, transformation and meditation, prayer, worship, faith, love, forgiveness, community, and the nature of being in this modern world are just some of these topics we hope to cover.


This 90 minute panel will consist of three parts. First, each panelist will introduce themselves and their work, sharing a part of their journey and practice with the audience. Second, a student moderator will pose questions for the panelists with audience observation. Last, an open question & answer session will be held fielding questions from the audience.

Rabbi Mychal Copeland, rabbi at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, a Jewish, LGBTQI-normative community in San Francisco

Rabbi Reuben Zellman, the Director of Music at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley and educator in the transgender community

Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford 


The Inaugural Stanford Speaker Series on Queerness, Spirituality, and Religion is the first speaker series in Stanford's history to highlight, empower, and feature the work which LGBTQ+ leaders, activists, and spiritual practitioners are doing in spiritual communities and/or religious institutions. This seven week series will feature over 20 speakers from 7 different faith traditions. Each panel event will center the work of all speakers and offer question & answer opportunities to the audience. Altogether, this landmark series is intended to spark questions, reflection, and transformative practice at the intersections of queer life, identity, and history with spiritual practice, religious institutions, and faith traditions. This speaker series is being organized and led by Refuge, Stanford University's community program for all LGBTQIA+ members of the Stanford community on a spiritual and/or religious path.

Please note that no panels will be recorded. This is to ensure and protect the privacy of the audience members. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Refuge student coordinator Matthew Haide Zheng at mhzheng (at) stanford.edu.

Cosponsors: Department of Religious Studies, Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Markaz, Stanford Queer and Asian, Queer Salam, Black Community Services Center, Asian American Activities Center, Buddhist Community at Stanford, Stanford Zen Society, Black Gender Marginalized Collective, Black and Queer at Stanford, United Campus Ministry at Stanford

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