We are Netivot, a group of LGBTQ+ Jews in the Boston, New York, and Tel Aviv areas who are engaged in traditional Judaism. Some of us come from Orthodox or traditional backgrounds, others are currently exploring a traditional Jewish identity. Our mission is to create a space to explore the intersection between our LGBTQ+ and traditional Jewish identities, and to move the traditional community towards greater understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ+ Jews.
The literal translation of Netivot is “paths”. Netivot was created because of a need to create another path for LGBTQ+ Jews who have connections to traditional Judaism. Netivot serves as a warm, welcoming community for LGBTQ+ Jews interested in growing and learning in a traditionally minded environment. We are also committed to moving the traditional community to greater understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ+ Jews.
Over the past 2+ years, Netivot has burgeoned into a thriving community in Boston, with over 70 members, monthly Shabbat dinners, and social events. Netivot has excelled in Boston, so its leadership has decided to expand and create new chapters in New York City and Tel Aviv. Over the next 2 years, we plan to grow Netivot in all 3 cities, while still maintaining its tight-knit community feel.
Hailing from Palo Alto, California, Morris recently graduated from MIT with a BS in math and linguistics. He then moved to Israel to start Netivot Tel Aviv. Morris has been an active participant and organizer for various Jewish and LGBTQ groups on- and off-campus. One of the founding members of Netivot, Morris feels passionately about opening up the traditional Jewish community to LGBTQ+ people. He has been interning at a startup developing automated speech recognition technologies, and in his spare time he enjoys cooking and practicing his Japanese.
Avi was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts. He attended Brandeis University where he studied Business and Psychology. During college, Avi was active in the campus Hillel and Chabad, where he loved planning social and educational events. Since college, Avi has been working in IT Consulting at mid-sized firm in downtown Boston, and has has helped co-found Netivot. In his spare time, Avi loves to explore new nooks of Boston, host dinner parties, and run along the Charles River.
Zahava is a founding member of Netivot. She moved to Boston in 2012 when she started law school and has been an active member of the Jewish LGBTQ+ community in Boston since then. Zahava grew up in Teaneck, NJ. She attended Moriah for elementary and middle school, Frisch for high school, spent a gap year in in Israel at Ein Hanatziv, and went to college at UMass Amherst. Her favorite thing about Netivot dinners is that it creates a safe space for young LGBTQ+ Jews to relax and be themselves.
Bess was born and raised in Maine, and is a graduate of Smith College, where she studied Sociology. After college, she participated in the Adamah Jewish farming fellowship. In her free time, she volunteers with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, sings in the Somerville Community Chorus, and ponders how to stop climate change.
As a new Netivot member, Andy is excited to dive into the heart of the Netivot experience - Shabbat dinners - and make them the best they can be.
Sarah hails from NJ. She graduated from Dartmouth College. After six years in New Hampshire, Sarah is excited by the size and diversity of the Boston Jewish LGBT+ community and doesn't expect that excitement to fade for a little while yet.
Cody is very happy to be on the Netivot board and is enjoying planning events for the Netivot community in Boston. Cody grew up in New Jersey, attended Brandeis University, and has been a Boston resident ever since. When not busy at her day job, Cody enjoys barre and yoga classes, painting along with Bob Ross tutorials, and exploring Boston.
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