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And in many ways, it was this kind of awareness of the lives of Orthodox LGBT that the organizers were striving against.

*** While there is no empirical statistical data about LGBT Orthodox Jews, for many the Internet provides a safe space to discuss their sexuality and take the initial step in dealing with who they are.

“sees heterosexual marriage as the ideal model and sole legitimate outlet for human sexual expression,” stated a groundbreaking 2010 declaration signed by several Orthodox rabbis that advocated against reparative therapy—itself a relatively major shift in Orthodox thinking about homosexuality.

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“The Internet has created the ability to have, first and foremost, this virtual online gay Orthodox community, which eventually became a non-virtual Orthodox gay community,” said Jayson Littman, the founder of He’Bro, a company that organizes and promotes events for gay Jews in New York City.

Then again, the Internet itself is a source of consternation for many Orthodox Jews: A large anti-Internet rally held in Citifield in 2012, attended by more than 40,000 Ultra-Orthodox Jews, hammered home the resistance many Orthodox Jews have for such technologies.

“The Internet did what a million progressive rabbis couldn’t do,” said Mordechai Levovitz, the co-founder of Jewish Queer Youth and the LGBT Coordinator for the United Nations NGO Committee for Human Rights.

“The key in surviving as an Orthodox LGBT is not feeling alone.

That’s what happened to me and everyone else.” Oriol Poveda, a researcher in Sweden who is studying the effects of social media on LGBT Orthodox Jews, said that in the last few years a shift has occurred.

He cited the 2001 documentary , about homosexuality inside Orthodox Judaism, as a turning point.

The Orthodox version has received close to 115,000 views, an astronomical number considering the population of Orthodox Jews.

Bonnie Rosenbaum, communication director for Keshet, a prominent grassroots organization that works for the full LGBT inclusion in Jewish life, said that she believed social media has helped gay Orthodox teens to find role models and find a way of life they didn’t know existed.

“The Internet has changed our lives in a big way,” said Miryam Kabakov, editor of the anthology , and the co-executive director of Eshel, a group that works to promote Orthodox LGBT-inclusion.

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