Jewrotica, A Lecture on Jewish Sexuality, Draws Huge Crowd


Jewrotica, A Lecture on Jewish Sexuality, Draws Huge Crowd

By Daniel Zuckerman on March 20, 2013 [The Purchase Brick]

College students were able to openly talk about Judaism and sex in a safe environment last Tuesday night when Sarah Lawrence College hosted a lecture entitled “Jewrotica.” The discussion was led by Ayo Oppenheimer and the crowd consisted of both Sarah Lawrence and Purchase students, younger and older, male and female.

Oppenheimer said she created the workshop to help people feel more comfortable with their sexuality and sexual practices such as choosing a partner, who they choose to be with, how one asserts boundaries and other related topics.

“It amazes me that there was no hub for Jewish sexual expression before Jewrotica started,” said Oppenheimer. “Life is all about relationships. The relationships we have with each other, our friends, family, lovers, ourselves.”

The lecture explored relationships and sexuality and provided a forum for expression that is not found in the Jewish community and where sex is not a taboo topic.

Jewrotica Logo “Jewrotica exists to bring sex to Judaism, but also Judaism to sex,” Oppenheimer said. Another goal of Jewrotica is to help people connect with their Jewish heritage. “Judaism actually has a lot of wisdom to offer in the area of relationships and sexuality,” said Oppenheimer.

But a group like this isn’t without its critics. Oppenheimer said that people who are opposed to Jewrotica believe that sexuality is a private matter. However, Oppenheimer said she believes that sexuality has become so modest and private that it has become silent. “Silence leads to a lack of education, ignorance and shame, and that is what I am trying to fight against.”

Oppenheimer also said that overall, Israelis are more open about sexuality than Americans, and Jewrotica has many fans including press junkets such as Freaknomnics, as well as authors and rabbis. Students enjoyed the lecture as well.

Purchase Student Christina Nagel said she loved the program. “As someone who is not Jewish, it was great to learn stories in a new and different way.”

Ethan Behling, a program associate for Hillel of Westchester, said his group was one of the first to participate.

“We try to think outside of the box, and put on events about topics that are interesting, fun, and even edgy, which Judaism has no lack of,” said Behling. He said he enjoyed the lecture, describing it as educational and unique.

Jewrotica also promotes up and coming writers, invokes the quality of erotic Jewish literature, and promotes social justice.