Riding a wave of popular support for LGBTQ human rights worldwide, and taking its name from Leviticus 18:22 in an act of reclamation and defiance, Eighteen:22 launches 11-13 August, 2015, in Salzburg, Austria, with a three-day think tank that brings together today’s next generation of international emerging and established Jewish LGBTQ and ally influencers at the Schloss Leopoldskron, home of the Salzburg Global Seminar — a world-class, global conference center that holds both Jewish and LGBTQ connections.
Through a combination of inspirational speakers, leadership and practical skills-building workshops, and peer-led case-studies, Eighteen:22 will cultivate a global network of visionaries who are actively pursuing positive change in a variety of disciplines — across the public and private sectors — and have demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBTQ issues in Jewish life and beyond.
Participation in Eighteen:22 is subsidized by the Schusterman Family Foundation and others.
Applicants to Eighteen:22 spanned a diverse array of professions and concentrations, and represented nearly 30 countries from around the globe. Each applicant was vetted by a panel of established thought leaders in the LGBTQ and Jewish worlds. Finalists were selected based on a number of criteria including:
-Demonstrated commitment to and impact in some area of LGBTQ Jewish life and/or beyond.
-Established in a decision-making position, or a position that consults with or counsels the decision-makers.
-A stand-out as an expert, leading talent, or other general star of their community or initiative.
-Currently active in work that targets the intersectionality of LGBTQ and Jewish life, in any field, through their paid profession or through dedicated service/unpaid activities.
Given the way many Jewish LGBTQ people have been excluded from cultural and religious communities in the past, and vice versa, Eighteen:22 continues to be particularly aware of, and sensitive to, the issues of representation. With this in mind, our goal is to create a gathering that reflects the diversity of LGBTQ and ally Jewry from the Global South and North.
In addition to evaluating each applicant based on the aforementioned criteria, our recruitment and selection process considered the following areas of representation: Jews of color, Jews by choice, person with a mobility issue, person with accessibility issues/special needs/invisible illness, non-Ashkenazi background, interfaith family, other identity.
Eighteen:22 only exists today, because of the many decades of activism, advocacy, and organizing that has helped make visible the stories and struggles of LGBTQ Jews, giving rise to the many flourishing LGBTQ Jewish communities around the world. We owe a great debt to all those individuals and initiatives that came before us, and to those that continue to make the world a
Their leadership and perseverance continues to inspire us as we set off on this next chapter.
Eighteen:22 is organized by Robert J. Saferstein and Halley Cohen, in partnership with The Schusterman Family Foundation, a global organization that seeks to ignite the passion and unleash the power in young people to create positive change for themselves, the Jewish community and the broader world.
For general questions, press inquiries, and/or to learn more about Eighteen:22 and how you can become involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.