The Sounds of Silence

A few weeks ago Rabbi Jason Klein volunteered his time to lead a powerful conversation with young people participating in the 15th Annual National LGBTQQI Jewish Student Conference (NUJLS) at Brandeis University. He asked the students to talk about a moment in their lives through the voice of someone else that experienced it. Either by default or due to the specific interest of the topics covered at the conference, each of the students participating in Rabbi Klein's conversation this Shabbat evening volunteered to talk about their coming out stories as LGBTQQI.

As you can imagine each of the stories were incredibly moving. One of the students spoke about their experience of participating in The Day of Silence at their Jewish High School the year before. On this particular Day of Silence at this students school other students began to make it safe for this student to feel like they could be themselves outwardly for the first time. How did that happen? Easy: multiple students choose to take some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. This student telling us the story of their coming out visually saw advocates surrounding them for the first time. They then mentioned how important support around the Day of Silence was in trying to understand how to navigate their own next steps in coming out.

learn more about the day of silence on the jewish federation site

You can help young people learn about themselves, their friends and their community by being an advocate for this day of action. Here are a few details to share with young people in your life:


April 15, 2011


The Federation