Here's a post a lot of you have been waiting for, for a while. I beg your indulgence and for your respect and thoughtfulness in posting comments, especially the anonymous ones. I will not be responding to comments.
The organization Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (formerly Homosexuality), known as JONAH, is a very controversial subject in the gay Jewish community, but more so in the broad Jewish community, especially the religious ones. The first line of defense for many children who speak to their parents about homosexuality is JONAH. This is for numerous reasons, one, they advertise in prominent Jewish papers that many parents read, and two, because the last thing a religious Jewish parent, or many non-religious Jewish parents want is a gay child. However, often the parents don't know the facts before sending their children to such an organization. I respect those who have worked hard within the JONAH program, and those who have come through it successfully, and know and believe that change is possible for specific individuals.
However, and I will only speak for myself, I feel it would do more harm than good. The reason I never posted about this before is because I never went through the system, so I felt inappropriate commenting on it. However, I currently find myself close with many people who have gone through the system- most unsuccessfully, some successfully- and I feel I know more about certain things. Without going into detail, there are multiple aspects of the JONAH program that would make me hate myself more than love myself, and it's taken me too long to get to this point in my life for me to go back and erase what I've accomplished. Further, I've seen people go through this therapy for ten years, and still not come out "healed", and that's not something I'm willing to risk. I'm pretty damn gay, and I know it.
I purposely did not go in to detail about their therapies and I won't. But lastly, I have to take up one issue in this time of repentance for the Jewish people. JONAH claims that they are true repentance for homosexuality. That it is any gay Jews obligation, in this time of year, to repent- and the only way to repent is to join their organization. This is false. This is wrong. This is not true, nor is it their program director's decision as to what God believes is repentance and what is not. That is between a Jew and God, not with other people in between making decisions. I believe, that with a full heart I go to God every year and ask for repentance on how I have served Him inappropriately and the wisdom to serve Him only properly in the future.
May we all be blessed with a year of true happiness.