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Booking Information: Bringing Jay Michaelson to Your Community

2013febGvGDr. Michaelson is a sought-after teacher, lecturer, and scholar-in-residence who appears frequently as a keynote speaker, scholar in residence, and panelist. ¬†To contact Jay’s team, please click this link to send us an email.

Below are some of the talks Jay has given over the last few years; click each one for a description from a past event. For a list of representative institituions, click here.  For sample videos, click here. 


1.   Law, Religion and Sexuality / LGBT Issues

Religious Exemptions and Religious Liberty

God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality  (Taught at over 75 churches, synagogues, and universities)

Religious Freedom, LGBT Equality, and Reproductive Justice: The New Front in the Culture War

Pinkwashing Israel/Palestine: It Isn’t Black & White

Global Equality? Bringing an International Lens to LGBTQ Activism>/a>

God, Gender and Justice: A non-oppressive sexual ethic in the shadow of religion

How to Have Better Conversations about Sexuality and Religion


2.  Academic Lectures

The Thought of Jacob Frank

Jacob Frank and Western Esotericism

I’m Just Not That Kind of God: An Introduction to Queer Theology

Homosexuality and Liminality: The Queer Theology of the Boundary Crosser

Queering Kabbalah

Queer Activism, Queer Scholarship: Liminality, Identity, and the “Good Gays”¬†¬†¬†

Harry Hay and the Erotic Dialogical


2.  Mindfulness, Buddhism, and Meditation

Meditation Retreats and Instruction (Jay teaches in secular, Buddhist, and Jewish modalities, and has taught beginners and advanced practitioners alike.)

The Gate of Tears: Difficult Emotions and the Dharma

Evolving Dharma: The Meditation Revolution

Evolving Dharma: When Every Mystical State You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough

Evolving Dharma: Developmental Models in Meditation

What is Spirituality?  

Spirituality and Social Justice

Spirituality and LGBT Identity


3.  Contemporary Judaism

iSpirituality: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love 21st Century Judaism

Pinkwashing Israel/Palestine: It Isn’t Black & White

Special Pinterest Judaism: Jewish Identity, Social Entrepreneurship, and Activism Meets iTunes, Twitter, and Occupy

What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel

Multiple Narratives: How to Talk about Israel/Palestine on Campus

Hybridization and 21st Century Religious Identity


4.  Jewish Thought, Spirituality, and Kabbalah

The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path

Integrating (Or Not) Our Spiritual and Other Lives

God Does Not Exist, God is Existence Itself: An Introduction to Nondual Judaism

Holy Heresy: Jewish Heretics from Jacob Frank to Jewish Renewal

Beyond Leviticus: Queering God, Torah, and Israel  

What is Jewish Enlightenment?

The Surprisingly Queer Stories of Abraham, Jacob,  and David

God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice

Neo-Hasidism as Spiritual Bricolage

An Introduction to Abraham Joshua Heschel

Kabbalah and Eros

Understanding Frankist Sexual Antinomianism

My Fair Youth, My Lord: Homoerotic Mystical Poetry from Greece to Today

The Spirituality of the LGBT Movement: Why “Gay Rights” is a Spiritual Opportunity.

I’m Just Not That Kind of God: An Introduction to Queer Theology

Polytheism and Nonduality: Integral Kabbalah and the Repersonalization of God

Ways of Speaking Silence: Vedanta and Neo-Hasidism

Performative Messianism and Radical Freedom:  Antinomianism, Sexuality, and Consciousness.

Is Ecstasy Bad for You?: The Staroselse-Lubavitch Controversy


5.  Other

The Religious Roots of American Antinomianism

Poetry Performances




Academic Appointments

Chicago Theological Seminary (Affiliated Assistant Professor)
Brown University (Visiting Scholar)
Harvard Divinity School (Field Education Supervisor)
Boston University Law School (Visiting Assistant Professor; Environmental Ethics, Law & Religion)
City College of New York (Adjunct Professor, Kabbalah)
Yale University (Instructor, Jewish Mysticism college seminar)


Academic Lectures and Presentations

Chicago Theological Seminary, Castaneda Lecture, May 2017
American Academy of Religion, A Revisionist View of Same-Sex Marriage, November 2016
American Academy of Religion, The Scholar-Practitioner, November 2015
University of Arkansas Law School, Religious Exemptions and Civil Rights, April 2015
Boston College, The Meditation Revolution and the Western Dharma, April 2015
Association for Jewish Studies, What is the Meaning of Frankist Sexual Antinomianism?, December 2014
American Academy of Religion, Queer Theology and Social Transformation, November 2014
Columbia University, Jacob Frank: A Revisionist View, November 2014
Int’l Symposium for Contemplative Studies, Can There Be a Jewish Contemplative Studies?, October 2014
Pacific School of Religion, Boswell Lecture, Queer Theology and Social Transformation, April 2014
Yale Law School, Religious Refusals: The New Front in the Culture War, January 2014
Association for Jewish Studies, Was Frankism the Link Between Kabbalah and Enlightenment?, December 2013
Brooklyn Law School, Religious Freedom and Equal Treatment: An International Look, October, 2013
Association for Jewish Studies, Frankism as Skeptical Antinomianism,  December 2012
City University of New York, The Erotic Dialogical: Harry Hay in the Light of Martin Buber, October 2012
Van Leer Institute, Rabbi Professor: Neo-Hasidism as Spiritual Bricolage, June 2012
Michigan Psychological Association, Homosexuality, Law, and Religion,  2012
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Bunis Lecture, Queering God, Torah & Israel, 2012
American Academy of Religion, Queering Kabbalistic Gender Dimorphism,  2011
Pacific School of Religion, Queer Activism & Queer Scholarship, 2011
Vanderbilt University,¬†Liminality, Identity, and the ‚ÄėGood Gays,‚Äô 2011
Academy of Jewish Religion, Embodiment in Jewish Practice,  2009
American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Vedanta & Neo-Hasidism, 2007
Cardozo Law School, Jews and the Legal Profession Conference, Anti-legalism and anti-Judaism, 2006
Lehigh University, New Jewish Culture, Queer Midrash, 2006
Manhattan Marymount College, Judaism & Sexuality, 2005
Drew University, Kabbalah and Eros, 2004

Scholar in Residence
Vassar Temple, March 2016
Temple Sinai, Stamford, CT, January 2016
KAM-Isaiah Israel, October 2015
Temple Emunah, Lexington MA, January 2015
Temple Sharei Tefilo-Israel, South Orange NJ, December 2014
Temple Israel Miami, December 2014
Temple Israel Boston, November 2014
Bates College, October 2014
Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA, April 2014
Middlebury College, November 2013
Lakeside Congregation, Highland Park, IL, November 2013
Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, New York, NY, March 2012
University of Chicago Hillel, February 2012
Beth Israel Center, Minneapolis, MN, December 2011
Jewish Community of Amherst, MA, May 2011
Temple Beth El, Stamford, CT, April 2011
Shir Tikvah, Minneapolis, MN, April 2011
Limmud New York (invited presenter), Jan 2011
Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinic Training Institute, Jan 2011
Bet Alef Synagogue, Seattle, WA, Nov 2010
Beth El Temple, Harrisburg, PA, May 2010
Academy for Jewish Religion, Nov 2009
Easton Mountain Retreat Center, Greenwich NY, 2009
Temple Israel of Natick, Feb 2008
Congregation Dorshei Emet, Montreal, Nov 2007
Congregation Bet Haverim, Atlanta, GA, March 2007
Congregation Kol Ami, Tampa, FL  Feb. 2006
Wexner Heritage Foundation, August 2004

Workshops and Lectures (selected)
National LGBT Journalists Association, 2013, 2016
Alchemists Kitchen NYC, 2016
ALEPH Kallah, 2016
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, 2009-present
East-West Festival NYC, May 2016
JCC Manhattan, 2016
Beacon Hebrew Alliance, 2016
Insight Chicago, 2016
Jewish Federation of Collier County, 2016
Limmud Toronto, 2016
Zen Center for Contemplative Care, 2016
Jewish Theological Seminary Rabbinic Training Institute, 2016
Easton Mountain Retreat Center, 2005-15
Arlington Street Church, 2015
Temple Israel Sharon MA, 2015
National Museum of American Jewish History, 2015
Hebrew Union College, 2015
Metropolitan Community Church, 2015
Union Theological Seminary, 2015
Dharma Punx NYC, 2015
Institute for Jewish Spirituality, 2015
Tri-State Dharma, 2015
New York Insight, 2015
ACLU of Arkansas, 2015
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 2014
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, 2014
Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 2014
Suffolk University Law School, 2014
Union College, 2014
J Street U, 2014
Against the Stream Meditation Center, 2014
Congregation Adas Israel, 2014
Hebrew College, 2014
Temple Beth Zion, 2014
Gratitude NYC, 2013
Rubin Museum, 2013
J Street Conference, 2013
World Congress of GLBT Jews, 2013
University of Pennsylvania Hillel, 2013
Nehirim, 2005-13
UNC-Asheville, 2013
Creating Change Conference, 2011-13
JFNA General Assembly, 2012
Boston University Hillel, 2012
Congregation Shaar Zahav, 2012
Tufts University Hillel, 2012
Michigan Psychological Association, 2012
College of William & Mary, 2012
Colgate University, 2012
SUNY Binghamton, 2012
Limmud Colorado, 2010
Limmud UK, 2009
Empire State Pride Agenda, 2005
New York LGBT Center, 2005

High Schools and Youth Programs
JTS Prozdor High School
Solomon Schechter Westchester County
The Trinity School
Camp JRF
Camp Ramah in the Berkshires
USY Metny Summer Encampment
USY on Wheels
The Teva Institute
J-High Queens
Makom Hebrew High School in Connecticut
Park Avenue Synagogue Youth Programs, New York

Performances and Readings
Abrons Arts Center
92nd Street Y
Burning Man
New York University
Mysteryland Festival
Knitting Factory
Bowery Poetry Club
Giovanni’s Room
Tmol Shilshom
Next@19th Miami
Gay Spirit Culture Summit
National Havurah Institute
Limmud Colorado, Limmud UK
JCC in Manhattan