Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jewish Relief Agency: A Miesian Out of the Box Concept

This video brings a lump to my throat.
I am so honored that I know some of the folks responsible for this amazing food-relief agency in Philly.
And I know that if ever we needed the help, we could get it from JRA.


Just tonight I was looking at a book entitled 50 Bauhaus Icons You Should Know.  Not too impressed, but I always thought that Mies van der Rohe coined the concept of thinking out of the box.  Didn't think my memory was shot yet, but I found little online to back myself up.  Not that I'm wrong.  And isn't he also credited with "form follows function"?  Yet the wiki entry gives credit to Louis Sullivan.  Must be my 40 year old brain talking.

JRA calls their video Beyond the Box, and I'm good with that.

But the founders of the agency are out-of-the-box thinkers, whether they're interested in the Bauhaus or not.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lawsuit Filed Against Gay Conversion Therapy Group

Chaim Levin, along with three other gay plantiffs, filed a civil suit today against a JONAH, a New Jersey-based therapy organization, claiming their methods of trying to change their sexual orientation were fraudulent.  The New York Times writes, " the former clients said they were emotionally scarred by false promises of inner transformation and humiliating techniques that included stripping naked in front of the counselor and beating effigies of their mothers."

I have known of Chaim Levin for about a year now.  He is doing very important work and I have the utmost respect for him.  It was very recently that I ruminated over how to keep my children safe from child predators.  As I told Chaim on his Facebook page this evening, I admire him for his kind, level-headed, peaceful demeanor.  No one likes an angry activist (tendencies which I have and need to work on, admittedly), but Chaim is such a wonderful orator and writer.  I know he will succeed no matter what the outcome.  He's a real mentsch.  

I do worry about how the world will view Orthodox Jews as a result of this press.  Naturally, I believe this therapy is a terrible thing and that this awful experience should be given justice.  Yet there are those folks who jump at every opportunity to put down Jews, especially the Orthodox ones.  Don't you have a cousin who thinks that all Orthodox Jews are smelly swindlers who force their wives to shave their heads?  Evidence of forcing young adults to try to change their gay orientation with quackery therapy doesn't look good.  But that doesn't mean it should be kept locked up in a box.  Quite the contrary, as Chaim and his co-plaintiffs are proving.

My hope is that this will ultimately help strengthen the Jewish community.  And that those rabbeim crooks individuals who have gotten away with abusing innocent kids in yeshivas for years, thereby turning people away from their rich heritage, will be exposed and excommunicated.  And that the vibrant percentage of our world that is gay can live in health, happiness, success and harmony.  Because we all deserve to get to the Garden of Eden.

As I mentioned in the past, it is the Golden Age of Miracles, right?