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Rady JCC rolls out carpet to host gay rights conference

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Rady Jewish Community Centre will play host to Canada’s first World Conference of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Jews next month.

The 21st World Conference of GLBT Jews comes to the centre from July 5 to 7.

"It’s a big opportunity for Winnipeg to connect with these larger organizations all over the world," said Rebecca Brask, senior cultural arts programming co-ordinator for Rady JCC. "So it’s a great opportunity for us and our GLBT community to connect with all those other people all over the world."

The event is organized with the World Congress of GLBT Jews. The congress is made up of organizations all over the world with a vision to nurture an environment where gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews worldwide can enjoy free and fulfilling lives.

The conference is held annually all over the world. The co-chairs of this year’s
conference attended the 2011 conference in Los Angeles when they decided they could host one in Winnipeg.

"I think Winnipeg is really known as a diverse and inclusive city, especially with the establishment of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights," said Tamar Barr, program director at Rady JCC. "I think this is just another step in both the Jewish and the GLBT communities in Winnipeg working towards a more inclusive and accepting environment for everyone."

Speakers at the conference include Yariv Mozer, Joy Ladin, Jay Michaelson, and Lesléa Newman.

 "Choosing the speakers was an interesting process. We did a lot of research, we looked at who was at other conferences, we looked online we got references," said Brask. "We were really, really lucky with our approaches to people, everyone we wanted said yes, so we were thrilled."

Joy Ladin will speak on July 5. Formerly Jay Ladin, she will tell her story of becoming a woman and the trials and tribulations that came with that journey, including being fired from her job.

Barr said GLBT Jews may face stronger criticism and Rady JCC has programs to
support them.

"They may face challenges from their community, they may face challenges from certain traditions," said Barr. "I think every religion is different in terms of accepting or practice."

Cost of the full-weekend conference is $275 for World Congress GLBT Jews
Members, $325 non-members, and $85 for registered full-time students.  

For more information, visit www.keshetldorvdor.com.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Debbie Figowy at 204-477-7534 or dfigowy@radyjcc.com  

Facebook.com/TheSouwesterWPG
Twitter: @SouwesterWPG

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