Yesterday’s Daily Briefing from JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) was sent out with the following in the email’s subject line: “Pride Month isn’t the focus for LGBTQ Jews this year.” The article quoted a number of prominent LGBTQ Jews who spoke of the affects the Covid-19 pandemic and the protests for racial justice were having on this year’s Pride celebrations. Noting that many communal activities, including marches and parades, were cancelled or moved to virtual platforms, a number of those interviewed for the article felt that, for them, Pride Month was taking a back seat to other matters.
We must not allow this to be the case! We must remain vigilant in our commitment that every person is created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, and worthy of respect, dignity and equality. Yes, we are living through unprecedented times, but we must not let down our guard in addressing other important issues in our world. Surmounting whatever obstacles are in our way to bring awareness to LGBTQ issues is essential. We can learn and teach about the LGBTQ community, we can bring our children greater understanding of family diversity, and we can support legislation that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination. And, of course, we must use the month of June to celebrate and show support to the LGBTQ community. Check out https://www.keshetonline.org/, the website for Keshet, an organization dedicated to LGBTQ equality in Jewish life, as well as the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center’s efforts for LGBTQ rights at https://rac.org/lgbtq-rights-0.
Temple’s Pride Shabbat Service this week will include readings from CCAR’s new Mishkan Ga’avah, Where Pride Dwells: A Celebration of LGBTQ Jewish Life and Ritual, and we will hear remarks from a very special guest speaker, David Kilmnick, PhD, MSW, President & Chief Executive Officer of Long Island’s LGBT Network. Please join us!