By: Jonathan Levin  | 

Jewish Queer Youth to Financially Support Undergraduate Club Costs While Freeze Lasts

Jewish Queer Youth (JQY) will financially support all undergraduate club expenses as long as Yeshiva University’s temporary freeze on club activities remains in effect, the organization told The Commentator Monday.

JQY’s decision was in response to YU’s temporary freeze, made shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the university a stay on an order to recognize the YU Pride Alliance, and is meant to honor YU’s LGBTQ+ students. Clubs will be able to request up to $500 in funding per event.

“JQY will offer financial support to ALL undergraduate clubs at Yeshiva University for as long as the school uses its refusal to recognize the YU Pride Alliance as an excuse to withhold all organizations from its students,” JQY told The Commentator.

JQY is a non-profit organization that supports and empowers LGBTQ+ youth from the Orthodox Jewish community, according to its website. Founded in 2001, JQY has supported the YU Pride Alliance from its founding, including funding mental health services for members over the past year.

JQY told The Commentator that the decision was made to honor YU’s LGBTQ+ students and to prevent students from being pitted against each other.

“YU is halting all clubs because of its queer students. So JQY will fund all clubs in honor of its queer students. Instead of dangerously pitting students against each other, we want to send a message of unity and fairness.

“Beginning today, every student club that can not operate normally due to YU's postponement of funding can apply below for up to $500 towards a club event, as part of our JQYU program.”

JQY University (JQYU), is JQY’s cross-campus network of Jewish LGBT students and serves as an umbrella group for Jewish LGBT+ campus organizations. 

JQY has currently set aside two months' worth of funding for clubs and will raise additional funds in the event the freeze lasts longer.

“If the University does not reinstate club life within two months, JQY has committed to raise additional money from alumni, allies and philanthropists who have been asking what they can do to help,” a JQY spokesperson told The Commentator. “Jewish donors and institutions all over the world have a vested interests in keeping YU student life alive and vibrant for each and every undergraduate.”

Clubs seeking funding from JQY will need to fill out a form describing the event's budget, expenses, logistical questions and the estimated number of participants. Applications will then need to be approved by JQY’s college program manager, who will work to assist the clubs and prevent misuse of funds.

If students are unable to reserve space on campus, JQY will offer clubs reservable rooms at WeWork buildings throughout New York City as well as other rentable spaces within walking distance from each campus, JQY told The Commentator.

JQY was previously involved in organizing on-campus panels of LGBTQ+ students and alumni discussing their experiences in the Jewish community in 2009 and 2020.

YU’s announcement Friday, which specified that “undergraduate club activities” would be temporarily frozen, has also frozen other student activities, including events run by student government. 

At least two events organized by undergraduate student councils were canceled, including a trip to the Central Park Zoo on Sunday.

Yeshiva University anticipates that the freeze will end soon. “Our lawyers submitted the briefs on Friday as directed by the US Supreme Court,” a university spokesperson told The Commentator late Saturday. “We anticipate a quick conclusion in the courts and the start of clubs soon.”

Over 130 clubs applied for club status before the application deadline of Sept. 12.

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