Jewish Lesbians Down Under has been conceived and edited by a collective of Australian Jewish lesbians. The anthology brings together contributions from Jewish lesbians all over the continent. It gives voice to our experiences, encompassing optimism, humour, sadness, survival and the strength of the Australian Jewish lesbian spirit.
The idea for this anthology came out of the monthly meetings of the Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria, a group that has been meeting monthly since 1992. As a group we explored issues of Jewish and lesbian identity, and realised we had many commonalities as Jewish lesbians, but also came from a wide variety of backgrounds with different experiences of living in Australia . The group included women from secular and religious backgrounds, immigrants and Australian born. We defined and expressed our Jewishness and our lesbianism in a variety of ways.
Our stories are the untold stories. There are no lesbians in Australian Jewish anthologies. There are no Australians in Jewish lesbian anthologies. There are no Jews, writing as Jews, in Australian lesbian anthologies. We see a need to fill that gap. We believe the richness of our diversity will make excellent reading.
We are a group of Jewish lesbians who came together to w or k on this anthology, forming the Jewish Australian Lesbian Anthology Collective (JALAC) in 1998 as an offshoot of the Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria .
Our aims in creating this anthology were:
To increase visibility and awareness of lesbian Jews in Australia .
To preserve our herstory in a written form.
To develop a resource about the diversity of our lives and experiences.
To facilitate Jewish lesbians in exploring their creative talents.
To express our identities as Jewish lesbians.
To share our stories with other Jewish lesbians, Jews and lesbians.
To give Jewish lesbians a sense of solidarity and community.
To educate Jewish and lesbian communities about who we are.
To give voice to Jewish lesbians in Australia .
The richness and diversity of the Australian Jewish lesbians in this anthology provides fascinating reading. Topics covered include:
Finding and creating community.
Being out as a lesbian in the Jewish community.
Being out as a Jew in the lesbian community.
Love and lesbian relationships.
Different journeys Jewish lesbians have taken to come to Australia .
© Jewish Australian Lesbian Anthology Collective (JALAC)
kvell (Yiddish) = beam or glow with pride and joy