Jewish Gay Conversion Group Operating Under New Name Ordered to Shut Down

Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality, or JONAH, settled with former clients in a 2015 lawsuit and agreed to stop its discredited gay conversion counseling

An illustrative photo showing women holding rainbow flags with the Star of David on them at a gay pride parade in Tel Aviv.
Ofer Vaknin

A New Jersey judge ordered a Jersey City-based Jewish gay conversion therapy organization to permanently shut down.

Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality, or JONAH, settled with former clients in a 2015 lawsuit and agreed to stop its discredited gay conversion counseling. But it has since been operating under a new name — Jewish Institute for Global Awareness, or JIFGA — Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Barisio said in his ruling, according to NJ.com.

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Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk, the organization’s co-founders, have been collecting fees to refer clients to other groups that offer gay conversion therapy. Barisio ordered them to refund any money they have made through JIFGA and cease all operations within 30 days.

According to court testimony, JONAH told clients to undress in front of each and beat effigies of their mothers to overcome sexual urges, NJ.com reported.