Yeshiva University Creates Its Own LGBTQ Club Amid Legal Battle Over Religious Freedom

Reagan Reese

Yeshiva University in New York City announced its creation of a LGBTQ club after the Supreme Court refused to block a ruling forcing the school to recognize another LGBTQ organization.

The university approved the Kol Yisrael Areivim Club, an organization for LGBTQ students to learn about their gender identity and sexual orientation in accordance with the Jewish values and faith of Yeshiva University, the school announced Monday. The announcement comes after the Supreme Court decided not to rule on a lawsuit which contended that the university is not a “religious entity” under New York law and must recognize YU Pride Alliance, an LGBTQ student club.

“The new club, designed to support and guide our students in living authentic Torah lives, was approved by the Administration, in partnership with lay leadership and endorsed by senior Roshei Yeshiva,” the university leaders wrote in a letter to staff and students. “The club also reflects input and perspectives from conversations between our rabbis, educators and current and past undergraduate LGBTQ students.”

The university said the Pride Alliance club, a national organization featured at colleges, conflicts with the Torah laws and values which led to the university creating the Kol Yisrael Areivim Club. The university’s club aims to “be supportive of our students that are consistent with Halacha and inspired by our values.”

While endorsed by the university, the club’s activities and agenda will be student run, the university said. The university noted that its staff already undergo sensitivity training and have “strict anti-harassment, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies.”

“We are eager to support and facilitate the religious growth and personal life journeys of all of our students to lead authentic Torah lives, and we hope that this Torah based initiative with a new student club tailored to Yeshiva’s undergraduate LGBTQ students will provide them with meaningful support to do so,” President of Yeshiva University Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman said in a press release.

In April 2021, alumni and students of Yeshiva University sued the school after it refused to recognize the Pride Alliance club, according to Becket Law. The litigation against Yeshiva University will continue as the New York Appellate Division will hear the case in November.

YU Pride Alliance did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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