The death of Herschel Siegel has forced a crucial conversation about LGBTQ Orthodox Jews

One of Herschel Siegel's last posts on Instagram. A 25-year-old gay Orthodox man, Siegel died by suicide on April 28, 2023.

Herschel Siegel was an accepted and embraced gay Orthodox Atlantan who attended Yeshiva University. He died on April 28 by suicide at the age of 25. As became evident after his death, Siegel struggled with mental health issues, and he never felt comfortable with how the Orthodox Jewish community accepted gay members. It begs the question: How much responsibility do Orthodox community leaders and lay members have in creating a welcoming space for LGBTQ members? Producer Zac Kauffman guest hosts.

Plus, the group dissects the gatekeeping behind Ben Shapiro’s attack on Bernie Sanders’s Judaism, and we shout out the UJA Walk With Israel on May 22 in Toronto, where CJN staff (Phoebe Maltz Bovy among them) will be hanging around to chat about all things Jewish and podcasting.


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Zachary Kauffman is the producer and editor. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.