Tomorrow will be a historic day in the Jewish Press. Chaim Levin, a survivor of “ex-gay” therapy at the hands of Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), will publish an op-ed that slams the “pray away the gay” group.
“The Jewish Press column is monumental because this is the first time that a national religious orthodox newspaper is printing an article that portrays gay people in a positive light,” Levin told Truth Wins Out. “Traditionally, this newspaper does not have a favorable LGBT record and it is a big step to allow me to share my story of being bullied, shamed, and abused for being gay.”
Levin’s column tells the truth about groups like JONAH and repaprative therapists and their unlicensed and dangerous practices. Indeed, the Jewish Press used to post classifieds for JONAH, and in this article Levin gives his personal account of being manipulated to unclothe one on one with a “reparative” therapist all supposedly for the sake of change. The incident was first reported in a video that Levin and Ben Unger made for Truth Wins Out.
“The Jewish Press is doing the right thing by standing up for justice and letting the Orthodox community learn the truth about programs like JONAH,” said Levin. “It is a dream come true that the the Jewish Press, a conservative Jewish newspaper is publishing an article that will help gay Orthodox Jews like myself.”
Indeed, when Levin was 16 and in yeshiva (religious high school), he used to read the Jewish Press every week to look for some reference to other people who might have been struggling with their sexuality. Today he knows others from that community who are out and proud.
“I wasn’t the only one, and this article reaches out to all those souls who feel trapped and hopeless because of their sexual identity because of who they are,” adds Levin.