Community explores activism

iditkleinASHEVILLE, N.C. — Idit Klein, executive director of Keshet, will be heading to the High Country to share her “Risk and Responsibility: A Professional Gay Jew’s Take on Activism and Leadership.”

On June 27, 7:30 p.m., she will begin the dialogue at Congregation Beth HaTephila, 43 North Liberty St.

The following afternoon, she will continue her presentation at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Ave. Attendees will hear Klein’s reflections on her journey from secular Israel to Orthodox day school to the LGBT rights movement. She will also discuss the challenges and opportunities in working for LGBT equality and inclusion in Jewish life and offer concrete steps for making change in one’s own community.

The program is a joint effort among Gays and Lesbians of Western North Carolina, Congregation Beth HaTephila and Congregation Beth Israel.


Racism examined

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Blue Ridge Pride has extended an invitation to its Stand Against Racism event on April 27, 2 p.m., at Eagle Street Coffee Emporium, 39B Market St.

Participants will be able to be part of a conversation about race, inclusion and diversity.

“By participating in this event, you will help raise awareness that racism still exists in our communities and that it can no longer be tolerated. We seek to bring people together across communities, for one common goal — the elimination of racism. We ask you to make your voice heard by joining the Stand against Racism,” organizers said.

Stand Against Racism is an annual event of the YWCA.


Dinner features national author

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Dr. Sonia Johnson will present “Gifts and Other Female Economies” on May 4, 11 a.m., at the Roof Garden Ballroom at Battery Park Apartments, 1 Battle Sq.

An author, Wise Crane and fifth generation Mormon, Johnson will discuss the merits and possibilities of an economy based on matriarchal values.

She was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1979 when she was publicly critical of the Mormon position against the Equal Rights Amendment.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive prior to 11 a.m. to have easier access to the locked senior housing facility. Those arrive after the start time will need to enter the 0706 security code on the keypad to be buzzed in.

Free parking is available on the street and in the lot (spaces 1-10) at the intersection of Battle Square and O.Henry Ave.

Organizers encourage brining a potluck dish to share for those who will remain afterward.

A love offering is suggested to cover Johnson’s travel expenses.

Johnson, who currently lives with her partner Jade DeForest in New Mexico, continues her involvement in feminist circles. She has been a part of the Feminist Hullaballo in the past, sharing the stage with women such as musicians Alix Dobkin and Margie Adams and philosopher Mary Daly among others. This ingathering featured speeches, drumming, music, commitment ceremonies and more.

Gals to host dance

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A Girls Out Dancing event will be held on May 17, 7:30 p.m., at Club Eleven on Grove, 11 Grove St.

Food and filtered water will be provided. And, a cash bar will be available.

Music will be supplied by Nancy Hedge.

The event is part of a women’s dance-a-month schedule.

Cover cost is $10.

Social justice residents sought

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Asheville’s Jewish Community Center (JCC) and the Center for Diversity Education at the University of North Carolina-Asheville are searching for individuals to serve as Tzedek Social Justice Residents.

The project’s residents will participate in leadership building activities, as well as management of community diversity projects. They also serve as liaisons between the Asheville JCC and other Jewish and non-Jewish community agencies.

The Jewish principles of charity (Tzedakah), repairing the world (Tikkun Olam) and leadership (Hanhagah) serves as the base for the work that the program presents. It receives funding from the Amy Mandel and Katina Rodis Fund of the Mandel Foundation.

This is a full-time, one-year temporary position supervised by the executive director. A $25,000 annual stipend and $2,500 professional development/training funding, two weeks paid vacation, paid holidays in line with the JCC calendar are part of the compensation package.

A full job description, list of responsibilities and qualifications are available online.

Send resume and cover letter to Lael Gray, executive director, at

Likewise, the UNC-Asheville center’s residency focuses on collaboration as it relates to the LGBTQ, Jewish and anti-bias social justice movements, in addition to youth and young adult leadership. It offers a similar compensation package. Residents report to Deborah Miles, executive director.

Send resume and cover letter describing how this position fits into one’s life’s goals to Additionally, applicants must provide three references.

Applications are due by May 15. Candidates who are selected will commit themselves from Aug. 4, 2014-August 14, 2015.


‘Headaches’ plague tax filers

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — reported that same-sex couples were challenged this year when same-sex couples prepared their tax returns.

Janice and Elizabeth Mallindine shared that they could file a federal form jointly, but the state required individual returns to go along with the state’s filing forms.

What this amounted to was both of them filling out a joint return, then doing the same as individuals as a pro forma return to go along with their state submission.

Normally, returns amounted to around 20-30 pages, but this year it took 250 or more to satisfy the requirements.

[For those who filed similarly, how did you fare this year? Did you use an accountant or tax preparer to handle the paperwork or did you do it yourself? Email qnotes at and let us know.]

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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.