Fostering an Inclusive Community Letter

In the aftermath of two quasi-rejected applications, YU appointed a committee, headed by then Vice-President of the university, Josh Joseph, to look into the idea of an LGBTQ club. On September 3rd 2020, a letter was released which included nods to greater LGBTQ inclusion, but claimed that having a club under university auspices would cloud the Torah’s nuanced message.

Documents and News Articles

Interview with President Berman
Commentator Staff | September 8, 2019
YU Commentator
YU Announces New LGBTQ Inclusivity Policies, Denies LGBTQ Club Formation
Sruli Fruchter | September 3, 2020
YU Commentator

Student Response

A Letter to the Josh Joseph Committee
Jacob Stone | December 22, 2019
YU Commentator
Jacob Stone requests the Josh Joseph committee to consider the hypocrisy that would be inherent to denying an LGBTQ club.
In Response to an LGBT Club Denial
Fruma Landa | September 30, 2020
YU Observer
Fruma Landa asks how an LGBTQ club violates “Torah nuances” and criticizes what she believes the Fostering an Inclusive Community letter implies for broader queer inclusion in the Orthodox world.

Club Application

In the aftermath of the “We, Too, Are YU” protest, and in conjunction with concurrent administrative discussions, YUPA was launched as an unofficial club. A few times YUPA applied to be recognized as a club under the name “YU Alliance.” The general assembly elected not to vote on the matter, leaving it to the administration. It is alleged in YUPA’s lawsuit that the administration instructed the GA to do this. The case was brought to the Beren Student Council, due to their constitution having a non-discrimination clause, but they refrained from taking a position. 


Former Student Leaders Detail Past Efforts for LGBTQ Inclusion
Jacob Stone | November 24, 2019
YU Commentator
Students Discuss LGBTQ Issues at YCSA ‘Meet & Greet’
Sruli Fruchter | December 12, 2019
YU Commentator
Petition Supporting Formation of LGBTQ+ Club Signed by Over 50 Student Leaders
Yitzchak Carrol and Yosef Lemel | Feburary 3, 2020
YU Commentator
Student Council Abstains from LGBTQ Club Vote, Leaving Decision to YU Administration
Yitzchak Carrol and Elisheva Cohn | Feburary 9, 2020
YU Commentator
Student Council Presidents Abstain from Voting on LGBTQ+ Club
Observer Staff | Feburary 9, 2020
YU Observer

Beren Lawsuit

Related Articles

Open Letter to President Berman from Cardozo Students
Undersigned | Feburary 3, 2020
YU Observer
A Message to the Student Council Presidents
Anonymous | May 12, 2020
YU Observer


Before YUPA was founded, there was the controversy about an LGBTQ club in Cardozo in the 90’s. More recently, there have been several clubs founded which made part of their mission to provide a safe place for queer students, including the Tolerance Club, Diversity Club, and Jewish Activism Club.


Club Profile: Jewish Activism Club
Bina Davidson | March 24, 2021
YU Observer