Celebrating Queer Jewish Youth

May 4, 2023

By Youth Programs Team

This past weekend, we held our third-annual Midwest LGBTQ+ and Ally Teen Shabbaton! We talked about what it means to live at the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Jewish, we prayed together, played a glow-in-the-dark game of Capture the Flag, and explored how our relationship to our hair is intimately connected with our identities as queer Jews.

Every year, these Shabbaton retreats, spaces where we not only learn but celebrate living at the intersection of identities – and the communities and histories that we inherit – is more and more important. There is a lot of work ahead to build the world we envision but taking time for Shabbat, for rest together as a community, is just as important.

At the end of the Shabbaton, during our closing circle, we always say the Shehecheyanu: a blessing of gratitude upon reaching this moment. We are thankful to be alive and sustained so that we could be in this moment together. We’re also thankful that we can celebrate and rest as we continue the fight for full equality and liberation. The fact that we can take this time to gather together in community is nothing short of miraculous.

May we all find time to rest, to celebrate, and to build community with each other as we fight for a more just world.

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