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Booking Information: Bringing Jay Michaelson to Your Community

2013febGvGDr. Michaelson is a widely sought-after teacher, lecturer, and scholar-in-residence who visited 33 communities in 2013, and 72 in 2012! ¬† His classes, workshops, and lectures combine spiritual seriousness, a high level of intellectual rigor, and a down-to-earth contemporary sensibility. ¬†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.   Religion and Sexuality / LGBT Issues

The Spirituality of the LGBT Movement: Why “Gay Rights” is a Spiritual Opportunity for Straight People, Gay People, and Everyone in Between.

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

Where did “Turn The Gays Away” Come From? ¬†An Introduction to Religious Exemptions

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

LGBT and Religion: Interfaith Perspectives

How to Have Better Conversations about Sexuality and Religion

Building Inclusive Jewish Communities

LGBT in the Orthodox Jewish World

Beyond Leviticus: Queering God, Torah, and Israel   

The Surprisingly Queer Stories of Abraham, Jacob,  and David  

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

Spirituality and LGBT Identity

Homosexuality and Liminality: The Queer Theology of the Boundary Crosser

Queering Kabbalah

Queer Activism, Queer Scholarship: Liminality, Identity, and the “Good Gays” (Academic lecture)

What’s Next for LGBT Equality? ¬†

The Thought of Harry Hay


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.)

What is Spirituality?  

Evolving Dharma: The Meditation Revolution

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

Evolving Dharma: Developmental Models in Meditation

Eat Your Way to Enlightenment: The Art of Eating Meditation

Reconciling Spirituality and Social Justice


3.  Contemporary Jewish Issues

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

iSpirituality: A 21st Century DIY Jewish Journey

What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel

It’s Complicated: How to Talk about Israel/Palestine on Campus


4.  Jewish Theology and Kabbalah

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

An Introduction to the Thought of Jacob Frank

Jacob Frank and Western Esotericism

What is Jewish Enlightenment?  

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

Neo-Hasidism as Spiritual Bricolage

An Introduction to Abraham Joshua Heschel

Kabbalah and Eros

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

Hating the Law for Christian Reasons: The Religious Roots of American Antinomianism

Poetry Performances

Building Innovative Nonprofit Organizations



Academic Appointments

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)


Scholar in Residence

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, Minneapolois, 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
Limmud Colorado (invited presenter), May 2010
Limmud UK (invited presenter), Dec 2009
Academy for Jewish Religion, Nov 2009
Easton Mountain Retreat Center, Greenwich NY, Summer 2009
Temple Israel of Natick, Feb 2008
Congregation Dorshei Emet, Montreal, Nov 2007
Lehigh University, Oct 2007
Congregation Bet Haverim, Atlanta, GA, March 2007
Congregation Kol Ami, Tampa, FL  Feb. 2006
Wexner Heritage Foundation, August 2004

Academic Lectures/Presentations

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


American Jews and Israel: Is the Love Affair in Trouble? Hebrew Union College, Feb 2010
Jewish Seekers and Finders, Makor, Feb 2007
Faith Traditions and Homosexuality, New York GLBT Center, Nov. 2006
“The Jews in Control of the Media,” Sidney Krum Conference, Sept. 2006
Sexuality and Scripture, workshop at New York state legislature, May 24, 2005
Turning It Around and Taking It Back: Religious Activism in a Time of
Dissent, New York GLBT Center, April 2005
Kabbalah and Popular Culture, Manhattan JCC, January 2005
Judaism and Homosexuality: Is There Movement Among the Movements? Makor, June 2003

High Schools and Youth Programs
JTS Prozdor High School
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
92nd Street Y
Burning Man
Knitting Factory
Bowery Poetry Club
Giovanni’s Room
Gay Spirit Culture Summit
National Havurah Institute
Center for Jewish History
Judaism Your Way
Limmud Colorado, Limmud UK
JCC in Manhattan