Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC

Torah & Sexuality: The Divine Eroticism of Kabbalah & Jewish Mysticism
Sixth & I

Torah & Sexuality

Online registration for this class is now closed - we're sold out! Please be advised there will be no sales at the door, no walkups.

A partnership of GLOE - The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch DCJCC and Sixth & I, our popular Torah & Sexuality series explores topics in Judaism relating to sexual expression and identity, presented in a contemporary queer context by rabbis and other Jewish educators. Classes are held monthly and every session is open to all, regardless of gender expression, sexual identity, or ability. For accommodation requests, contact

For centuries, the study of Kabbalah—Jewish mysticism—was off limits to almost everyone. It was thought to be far too powerful and too sexually charged to share with the masses. But why was it so secretive? What hidden powers did the ancient rabbis believe it had? And what power can learning it hold for us today?

In a class led by Rabbi Gil Steinlauf of the Hineni Fellowship, explore basic concepts from Kabbalah including teachings from the Zohar that provide spiritual insight and wisdom for living. Learn how Kabbalah can reveal the powerful and often moving erotic drama that underpins the stories and teachings of the Torah. No Hebrew background is necessary.

Each class is $18; if cost is a barrier to your participation, please email


About the instructor:


Rabbi Gil Steinlauf
Executive Director, Hineni Fellowship

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf was the senior rabbi of Adas Israel Congregation, a flagship American congregation in the Conservative Movement of Judaism. Rabbi Steinlauf came out as gay to his congregation in October of 2014, and his revelation was met with an outpouring of love and support from the synagogue members and much of the Jewish world. His story is an example that demonstrates how far certain parts of the progressive Jewish world has come in being truly welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ Jews in their midst.

Rabbi Steinlauf is the first senior rabbi of a large, historic, conservative congregation to come out as openly gay, and through his honesty, has sought to create an atmosphere of constructive dialogue on the issues facing modern culture and Judaism. He had previously been the rabbi of Temple Israel in New Jersey (since 2001). He is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and also studied at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, earned an MHL from the University of Judaism, and received rabbinic ordination and an MA at JTS.

Currently, Rabbi Steinlauf is the co-founder and executive director of the Hineni Fellowship, a one-year Jewish leadership development fellowship that educates, inspires, and empowers LGBTQ Jews to actively seek and attain positions of engagement, leadership and influence in the Jewish world.

The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement (GLOE) is the LGBTQ outreach program of the Edlavitch DCJCC.  GLOE has been recontextualizing Judaism for a contemporary queer community since its founding by Stuart S. Kurlander over ten years ago.

Sixth & I is a center for arts, entertainment, and ideas and a synagogue that reimagines how religion and community can enhance people’s everyday lives.


Time: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
600 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

We're sorry, the deadline for online sales has passed. Contact program staff listed above to purchase by phone.