• Jews of NY team

Shlomo Ashkinazy, aleading figure in the LGBTQ Rights Movement

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Shlomo Ashkinazy has been a leading figure in the LGBTQ Rights Movement for 50 years, holding positions at both The Gay Activists Alliance and the Mattachine Society in the early 1970’s.


He was a founding Board Member of some of the major LGBTQ organizations in the country, including: The National Lesbian and Gay Task Force,  The Association of Lesbian and Gay Social Workers, The LGBTQ Community Center of NYC, The Hetrick Martin Institute, The Ali Forney Center, and The Stonewall Democratic Club, where he has served as a Board Member since 1986.


Shlomo was the first openly Gay MSW Student in the country, was the first Clinical Director at The Hetrick Martin Institute, was the founder and first principal of The Harvey Milk High School, and was the founder and CEO of Madrigal House, New York’s first shelter for homeless LGBTQ Youth. Shlomo was the first openly Gay member of Manhattan Community Board 2, where he served for 30 years.

 


As a restaurant and bar owner in the 1970’s Shlomo, with his partner, successfully challenged the State Liquor Authority, becoming the first openly Gay people to be issued a Liquor License, and then being awarded a liquor license for an openly Gay establishment, both of which had previously been against the law. Openly Gay and Orthodox since 1980, Shlomo has provided counseling to other LGBTQ people in the frum community since 2003.  He appears in the 2001 film “Trembling Before G-d”, which addresses these issues.  Shlomo has been the Board Chair of Eshel since 2013,  and a member of A Wider Bridge’s NYC Metro Council since 2016.


Shlomo has been on the LGBTQ Advisory Board to the NYC Police Commissioner since 2008. Shlomo participated in the first LGBTQ Demonstration in Israel in 1979, and while living in the Old City in Jerusalem in 1982/83, often worked with Israel’s early LGBTQ organizations, such as HOD and S.P.P.R., and provided Shabbat hospitality to Gay dati’im.



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