Partner Carl Navarro

Queer Places:
The City College of New York, 160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031
Columbia University (Ivy League), 116th St and Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Montefiore Cemetery, 121-83 Springfield Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11413, Stati Uniti

Israel David Fishman (February 21, 1938 – June 14, 2006) was the founder of the Task Force on Gay Liberation.

Israel David Fishman was born on February 21, 1938 in Westerly, Rhode Island, the son of Minnie C. and Benjamin Fishman. They were Orthodox Jews. His father was an ordained rabbi, although he never practiced as clergymman.

In September 1946, at 8 years old, Fishman entered Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in Williamsburg, New York. At 15 years old he was hospitalized and treated with electric shock therapy.

Between 1956 and 1965 Fishman worked as office assistant. In 1958, he enrolled in the City College of New York, first as an evening student, and then enrolling full-time. He graduated with a B.A. degree, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in Philosophy in 1965. In May 1966, he received an M.L.S. from Columbia University's School of Library Science.

Fishman was the Head of Technical Services at the Jewish Theological Seminary library, and then Acquisitions Librarian at Richmond College. In 1970 Fishman became the Circulation Librarian at Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey, and was also Assistant Professor. In early 1973, he was denied tenure and in January 1974 he left the college.

In 1970, Fishman attended the American Library Association meeting in Detroit and conceived the idea of a gay liberation group within the library profession. He was the founder of Task Force on Gay Liberation (TFGL), a section of the Social Responsibilities Round Table.[1] He was succeeded in leadership of the Task Force on Gay Liberation by Barbara Gittings. Fishman was featured in the documentary ''Trembling Before God'', and wrote chapters for the anthologies, ''Daring to Find Our Names'' and ''Liberating Minds''.

Photo by Robert Giard, Rights Notice: Copyright Jonathan G. Silin (

Fishman moved to Los Angeles, California for work and study at the Gay Community Services Center. In 1973 he returned to New York to study Swedish massage and was licensed in 1974. The same year, Fishman met his partner, Carl Navarro at the West Side Discussion Group, a regular gathering of gay men. Fishman opened a mail order vitamin store, organized tours through Hasidic Brooklyn, and was active in the Park Slope Food Cooperative.[2]

He died on June 14, 2006.

My published books:

See my published books


  1. ^ cite book|last1=Kester|first1=Norman G.|title=Liberating Minds: The Stories and Professional Lives of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Librarians and Their Advocates|date=1997|publisher=McFarland|page=87|url=|accessdate=9 October 2017
  2. ^ cite web|title=Israel David Fishman papers|url=|accessdate=9 October 2017