JFS works to embrace LGBTQ community, promote understanding and acceptance

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WHIPPANY, NJ — On June 12, JFS MetroWest offered two separate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning events for National Pride Month.

During the afternoon, JFS hosted a professional development program, “Beyond the Rainbow: LGBTQ Sensitivity Training,” featuring Phoenix Schneider as the speaker. Schneider is a transactivist, educator and social worker specializing in program development and direct services in the LGBTQ communities. Approximately 60 local professionals attended this training, which was held at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany.

In the evening, JFS offered a panel discussion at the JCC MetroWest which was attended by approximately 30 community members. Panelists included Schneider; Jamie Bruesehoff, a writer, speaker, educator and advocate with three children, including an 11-year-old transgender; Rabbi Karen Perolman, associate rabbi at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills; and Mary Kay Carney, an advanced practice nurse working with children and adolescents in a variety of mental health settings.

Photos Courtesy of Kimberly Colchamiro