Come join us at our

Keshet-Mosaic Teen Group gatherings!

   January 22, February 26, 

April 2, May 7, and June 11, 2017

croppedLGBTQ Teen and allies gathering 3.7.15-havdalah ceremony-candles

Jewish LGBTQ and ally teens in 9th-12th grade are welcome! This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another.  From 5:45pm-6:30pm, there will be an open peer support group for anyone interested in a safe space for discussions. From 6:30-7:30pm we will have a kosher dinner and a fun activity.  For more information, contact Mosaic’s Executive Director, Bina Raskin atbinaraskin@mosaicofwestchester.org.

All of our gatherings take place at Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester in Rye,  2125 Westchester Avenue East.

 

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Meet Avi Edelman, Keshet’s new Teen Engagement Coordinator

Avi Edelman has over a decade of experience as an experiential educator and facilitator, working with a diverse array of youth in dynamic learning settings ranging from remote overnight camps to urban college campuses. For the past three years, he led programming for Operation Understanding DC (OUDC), an interfaith, cross-cultural nonprofit that brings together Black and Jewish high school teens from the Washington, DC metropolitan area for a year of dialogue, learning, and leadership development. At OUDC, Avi wrote and implemented a year-round curriculum, led an annual month-long civil rights pilgrimage, and trained dozens of students in public speaking and facilitation. Avi won numerous awards for his leadership of the Columbia University LGBTQ community, where he organized an annual conference for queer and allied high school students, led a successful campaign to implement gender-neutral housing in campus dorms, and facilitated dialogues to foster inclusion and create safe spaces for all students. Avi is also a film editor and script supervisor whose work has been screened in theaters, at film festivals across the country, and on nationwide television stations such as PBS and ESPN. He is an above-average juggler with waning professional circus aspirations.

You can reach Avi at avi@keshetonline.org  or 914- 297-9032.

  

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Meet Sean, one of Mosaic’s own Storytellers

We are excited that Sean, an active member of the Mosaic Teen Advisory Council, has volunteered to become a Mosaic Storyteller!  This involved Sean working with our professional storyteller consultant to develop and articulate his personal story to be shared with the Westchester Jewish community. Sean shares “ I didn’t think that both my gay and Jewish identities could co-exist. However, through my involvement with Mosaic, both my identities have been able to thrive and I have been able to embrace them more”.

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WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING

WITH KESHET-MOSAIC TEENS

 

Israel Day Parade and the NYC Pride March

June 2017

On June 4th, 100 Jewish LGBTQ and ally teens and adults danced, sand and marched together with A Wider Bridge, Eshel, JQY, Keshet and Mosaic of Westchester down  5th Avenue to celebrate Israel and our LGBTQ identities.

Marching group at Celebrate Israel 2017

group selfie-Celebrate Israel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on June 25, hundreds of Jewish LGBTQ and ally teens and adults from several Jewish organizations marched proudly in solidarity with Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in the RESIST delegation.

group shot on street -Pride March 2017

Diana Schutt and Bina Pride 2017

Sean-Pride 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yakira and her Dad-Mark with friends at Pride 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Mosaic teen storytellers shared inspiring words with the community at a pre-Pride brunch prior to marching together in solidarity!

Alyx and Sean speaking at brunch-Pride March 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our teens attended the LGBTQ Teen Summit at the Museum of the City of New York

 February 2017

 

photo on museum steps with signSeveral teens from Westchester joined with the Keshet-Mosaic cohort to attend the LGBTQ Teen Summit at the Museum of the City of New York.  The teens enjoyed the gallery tour Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York; dancing, art-making, rapping, and engaging with a teen panel who spoke about the importance of self-acceptance and love-and advocacy..

 

 

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Our teens celebrated Chanukah a little early this year

December 2016

 

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Israeli transgender rights leaders visited Westchester and presented at Temple Israel Center in collaboration with Mosaic of Westchester, A Wider Bridge, and Keshet

August 2016

 

Ma’avarim Executive Director, Elisha Alexander, and Ma’avarim teen leaders with NY teens

Ma’avarim Executive Director, Elisha Alexander, and Ma’avarim teen leaders with NY teens

Selfie of Ma’avarim leaders and leaders from Mosaic of Westchster, A Wider Bridge, and Keshet!

Selfie of Ma’avarim leaders and leaders from Mosaic of Westchster, A Wider Bridge, and Keshet!

(left to right)..Partner organizations leadership-Tyler Gregory, A Wider Bridge’s Deputy Director; Elisha Alexander, Ma’avarim’s Executive Director, Bina Raskin, Mosiac’s Executive Director Justin Rosen Smolen, Keshet’s National Direcor of Youth Programs and Sonia Alexander, Mosaic’s Director of Teen Engagement

(left to right)..Partner organizations leadership-Tyler Gregory, A Wider Bridge’s Deputy Director; Elisha Alexander, Ma’avarim’s Executive Director, Bina Raskin, Mosiac’s Executive Director Justin Rosen Smolen, Keshet’s National Direcor of Youth Programs and Sonia Alexander, Mosaic’s Director of Teen Engagement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were 2 wonderful programs on August 16th!

Teen program: Several NY LGBTQ teens shared pizza and great conversation with three young Israeli trans leaders of Ma’avarim , Alan, Adi, and Amy who are working to make Israel a place for transgender teenagers and young adults to grow and thrive. The teens shared that they loved their experience together and new friendships were made!

Community program: Elisha Alexander, Executive Director of Ma’avarim, and the three young Israeli transgender teen leaders, Alan, Adi and Amy shared their moving stories and discussed their work of building transgender community and advocacy all across Israel. The audience shared that they were moved by their stories and the incredible work of Ma’avarim.

 

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Marching in NYC Pride

June 2016

croppedgreat group photo pride 2016Mosaic, Keshet, USY, JQY, and Footsteps joined forces to bring together a powerful presence of Jewish LGBTQ teens and allies at the NYC Pride March! We started with a big brunch where we got to connect and get pumped, and then headed out to the march in a big crew. We marched besides CBST congregation in a Jewish cohort full of pride and enthusiasm and we had over 75 people! It was a beautiful day and we can’t wait to do it again next year!  

 

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Book Giveaway

June 2016

Thanks to a grant from the Jewish Education Project, Mosaic was able to give our teens a Jewish LGBTQ themed book for the summer, plus an extra to give to another Westchester based LGBTQ Jewish teen they know! mosaicbooks

 

 

 

 

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Zanna, Don’t at the Play Group Theater

June 2016

Mosaic teens and families attended a play at the youth theater in White Plains (the Play Group Theater) called Zanna, Don’t– a musical about a high school where being gay is the norm and the adventures of a magical love fairy. It was great!teen photo- theater night..6.5.16

 

 

 

 

 

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Our First Parent/Guardian Group of this year

May, 2016

CoffeeNine parents of Mosaic teens came together with warmth and enthusiasm. We got to know one another and had great conversations. We look forward to meeting again on Tuesday July 12- to continue to build connections, community, knowledge, and resources in order to be the best allies possible.

 

 

 

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A Staff Training at Temple Shaaray Tefila

May, 2016

head Led by our Director of Teen Engagement, Sonia Alexander, ten senior staff members participated in a Mosaic training about inclusivity for LGBTQ teens and members at large. We heard stories, reflected on values, and reviewed ways to be a strong ally. Shaaray Tefila staffed brainstormed ways for their community to move forward and take bold steps towards increasing inclusivity- it was very inspiring!

 

 

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A Teen Led Training at Westchester Jewish Center

May, 2016

From left to right…Sonia Alexander-Mosaic’s Director of Teen Engagement; Bina Raskin-Mosaic’s Executive Director; Mosaic teens; and Shoshi Rosenbaum-WJC’s Director of Teen Engagement

Two Mosaic teens shared their personal stories and led interesting presentations about depictions of LGBTQ people in the Media, and Trans activism to a group of sixteen teens at WJC’s Hebrew High.  They also engaged in a lively Q & A – they did awesome and it was an inspiring and unique learning opportunity for all!  We are excited to do more collaborative activities with them next year….

 

 

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Purim Party!

April, 2016

 

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Mosaic teens celebrated a belated Purim together. Two of our Advisory Council teens wrote an LGBTQ themed Purim skit, which the Advisory Council performed for the rest of the teens. We made masks and ate rainbow hamentaschen made by Mosaic Board member Abby Reiken.

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Pesach Walking Tour in NY City

April, 2016

 

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Mosaic and Keshet brought teens together to learn about LGBTQ history in Greenwich Village, NYC. Les Skolnik (Jewish Education Project) and Rabbi David Dunn Bauer(CBST) led us in a walking tour. We heard stories and grounded in LGBTQ, and specifically Jewish LGBTQ history, of the neighborhood. We saw the LGBTQ Center and learned its history, saw the site of the former St. Vincent’s hospital which served many during the AIDS crisis, saw Stonewall, and much more. Next year we hope to expand to invite adults as well!

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A Teen Led Training at Westchester Reform Temple    

April, 2016

lgbtwords-editedTwo Mosaic teens led awesome presentations about LGBTQ terminology and allyship to a group of about twenty tenth-graders in WRT’s confirmation class. Our teens also engaged in a lively Q & A – they did great and it was an inspiring and unique learning opportunity for everybody present.

 

 

 

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Prideworks Conference

March, 2016

prideworks2Mosaic, Keshet, and Schechter Westchester attended the Prideworks Conference together! It was fun, inspiring, and educational. We came together with groups of LGBTQ and ally teens throughout Westchester County and beyond! It was a fun way to connect to the larger community. We had a group of six teens, one parent, and three educators. We had breakfast and lunch together, each attended various presentations, and had an engaging discussion together afterwards. We’ll go back next year!

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LGBTQ Teen gathering 3.7.15 rainbow cake slices

Our first ever teen support group

January, 2016 

 Mosaic’s initiative to enhance Westchester LGBTQ Jewish teen engagement got kickstarted with our first ever support group! First, the Teen Advisory Council met, Mosaic’s teen leadership group, with four teens who have been a part of the group since it began, and three teens who just joined the Council! Then the support group met with a total of nine teens- two who were brand new to Mosaic’s programming.

Afterwards everybody stayed for a pizza dinner with community building games and some Tu Bishvat learning. We had fun getting to know each other and laying the ground work for ongoing community building, discussion, support, learning and fun. We’re so excited to meet again on Sunday February 28!

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Our first county-wide event for LGBTQ teens and allies  

March, 2015

Following that event, we formed a Mosaic Jewish teen LGBTQ Advisory Council to help us plan ways to help Westchester become more LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming for Jewish LGBTQ teens! 

 

LGBTQ Teen an allies gathering 3.7.15 -pesach supplement breakout session 3.7.15

LGBTQ Teen and allies gatheirng 3.7.15 -group photo

LGBTQ Teen and allies gathering 3.7.15-havdalah ceremony-candles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RESOURCES FOR TEENS:

Solomon Schechter School of Westchester 

GLSEN-The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network

WJCS-Center Lane

If you or your family are Orthodox……

  • Check out Jewish Queer Youth (JQYouth or JQY), a social and support group for frum and formerly frum LGBT Jews ages 17-30.
  • Visit Eshel, an organization dedicated to creating understanding and support for LGBT people in traditional communities. They offer great events and resources designed especially for observant Jews.

OTHER RESOURCES:

from Keshet: What to do when a friend comes out to you

from Keshet:Top 10 ways to respond to”That’s So Gay“