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, 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:
- Visit KeshetOnline.org to find Pride Month events in your local community.
- Tell the world you support equality! Keshet offers printable posters and downloadable graphics which are great for marching in pride parades or sharing on Facebook.
- Keshet offers a resource database of articles, rituals, poetry, sermons, and more, all related to LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion in Jewish life and beyond.
- Read the URJ & Keshet Trans Inclusion Guide.
- Download our Community Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Assessment or Camp DEI Assessment to assess your congregation or camp's current DEI efforts and develop goals for the future.
- Take a look at our resource on microaggressions.
- The URJ is committed to affirming the rights of our transgender community members. You can read more in this press release.
- Print out our all-gender restroom signs to post in your space.
- Visit the Religious Action Center's (RAC) Pride Shabbat resources page for more resources, sample sermons, personal stories, and more!
Learn more about the Reform Jewish community and LGBTQ+ equality from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Happy Pride Month!