The Failure of Sexual Health Organizations to Condemn Sexual Violence (crossover episode with Orthodox Conundrum)

After October 7th, Jews around the world have felt besieged by some erstwhile allies, as some have been silent in the face of rampant antisemitism, and others have openly supported Hamas and its genocidal goals. While there have been many who openly support Jews and Israel, the war in Gaza has also provided a moment of reckoning as we discovered some unhappy surprises about people we thought were our friends.

A good example is the reaction to October 7th by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, or AASECT. As an organization dedicated to healthy sexuality, and one which has expressed opinions on hot button issues unrelated to its core mission, AASECT certainly should have issued a statement condemning the sexual violence against Israelis on October 7th. That, however, didn’t happen for a long time – and even when it did, the statement felt like a giant hedge.

As a result, Talli Rosenbaum and some colleagues resigned from AASECT. In this crossover episode with the Orthodox Conundrum, Rabbi Scott Kahn interviewed Talli, psychotherapist Dr. Shoshana Bulow, and sexual educator Dr. Logan Levkoff about some of the ways that the AASECT debacle is, unfortunately, representative of trends that are emerging in the United States. They also discussed the trauma of October 7th and the war both in and out of Israel, as well as the binary thinking that has led to the demonization of Jews, the prevalence of antisemitism, agendas that are embedded in the system to the Jewish people’s detriment, the fight against anti-Israel activity across the diaspora, and more.

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