I've mentioned the Rainbow Jews project before, but for those of you who are not familiar, this project is pioneering, in that it records and showcases Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history from the 1950s to today. For the first time ever in British history, it captures the voices and experiences of Jewish LGBT people in the UK through oral histories and archive creation.
Like so many great queer heritage initiatives, it is volunteer-led, and the financial support from the Lottery Heritage Fund grant has now finished. Led by Surat Knan, the Rainbow Jews have done great things, they have launched an exhibition which is now set to travel the country, they have collected oral histories from a much overlooked community that otherwise would have been lost, and they have, with the support of the London Metropolitan Archives, began to gather material for an archive collection.
There is still so much to do though. Donations will work towards achieving the following:
- covering staff costs for a part-time project manager, who will coordinate the volunteers, and continue to promote our key activities, such as:
- getting this wonderful exhibition around the country to further share these amazing stories and experiences, (already confirmed Leicester, Birmingham and Liverpool/Homotopia as from 31 August 2014; with more possibilities e.g. Belfast).
- creating over 5 events such as launch receptions, film screenings and talks while touring.
- disseminating education resources, and co-facilitating sessions at school, youth groups etc.
- recording and processing of over 10 new oral histories, especially of Jewish LGBT pioneers in remoter UK regions.
- collecting more memorabilia and fostering our archive collection at LMA
The page to donate (and to find out more about the fundraising project) is here. Let's all ensure that this great heritage project doesn't join the long line of brilliant grassroots queer initiatives that have faded away due to a lack of funding.