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Adeena Penner

President & Founder

​​Rebbetzin Adeena Penner is the President of Kesher Families, an organization supporting families of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ within the Orthodox community. Her son came out to her in 2010 at the age of 15, plunging their family into a new reality with no roadmap. Having successfully navigated this dynamic, since 2019, Adeena has been speaking publicly about her family’s journey. Both before and since Kesher Families was founded, Rebbetzin Penner and her husband have been meeting privately with families in similar situations. In the sixteen months that Kesher has been open, close to 150 family members of loved ones who identify as LGBTQ+ have come for support.

Rebbetzin Penner works with Orthodox communities and their leaders, rabbis, mental health professionals and schools to educate and sensitize them to the needs of families like hers. Over the past two years, she and her husband have presented at an Ohel online seminar, several synagogues across the tri-state area and Canada, an annual Nefesh Conference, and most recently at a Shabbos event in the Long Branch/Deal community. They were also interviewed at Camp HASC last summer by Yaakov Langer for his Inspiration for the Nation podcast.

 

Adeena served alongside Rabbi Penner as the Rebbetzin of the Young Israel of Holliswood for 20 years, and continues to maintain her ties to and involvement with the community. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stern College and Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from NYU. Adeena worked for 15 years in the field of occupational therapy at the New York Board of Education, the Chush School in Williamsburg, and Camp HASC. Rebbetzin Penner is a valued resource for many in the Jewish world navigating personal and family challenges.

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