Celebrate Pride Month in the Jewish Community

May 29, 2014Kate Bigam Kaput

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Pride Month originally honored the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which were a major turning point for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. Today, Pride Month is observed in communities across the country with parades, festivals, and other joyful events that celebrate the LGBTQ+ 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 and affirmation of LGBTQ+-identifying people in synagogue life and in society at large. Jewish tradition teaches that every person is created b'tzelem Elohimb'tzelem Elohimבְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִיםLiterally "in the image of God;" the concept—from Genesis 1:27: “God created humankind in God’s image”—that because all humanity is created in the image of God, each person is equally valued.  , in the image of God, and is thus worthy of respect and dignity. Historically, this guiding principle has led the Reform Jewish Movement to fight for civil rights, women's rights, and rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

In the Reform Jewish community, many congregations celebrate Pride Month by holding a "Pride Shabbat" and sending a contingent to march in their local pride parades. Keshet, an organization that works for the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ Jews in Jewish life, has made available a number of great resources to help Jews celebrate Pride Month and show their support for LGBTQ+ equality. Here's a sample of what they offer, along with some URJ resources:

Learn more about the Reform Jewish community and LGBTQ+ equality from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Happy Pride Month!

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