By Kate Bigam
The month of June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, originally designed to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which were a major turning point for LGBT issues in the United States. Today, Pride Month is observed in communities across the country with parades, festivals, and other joyful events that celebrate the LGBT community. Yet, Pride Month also serves to memorialize and honor those who have died of hate crimes and HIV/AIDS.
Reform Jews are committed to the full participation of gays and lesbians in synagogue life, as well as society at large. Jewish tradition teaches that every person is created b’tzelem elohim (Genesis 1:27), in the image of God and is thus, worthy of respect and dignity. Historically, it is this guiding principle that has led the Reform Jewish Movement to fight for civil rights, women’s rights and rights for the LGBT community.
In the Reform Jewish community, many congregations celebrate Pride Month by holding a “Pride Shabbat” and by sending a contingent to march in their local pride parades. Keshet, an organization that works for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life, has made available a number of great resources to help Jews celebrate Pride Month and show their support for LGBT equality. Here’s a sample of what they offer:
Learn more about the Reform Jewish community and LGBT equalityfrom the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and visit ReformJudaism.org/blogduring the month of June for Jewish LGBT stories written by and for Reform Jews. Happy Pride Month!