MLC Keshet Pride
Gathering in community is one of the most valued activities we engage in as Jewish people. We come together to pray and to celebrate life milestones, like births, bnai mitzvot, marriages, and yarhzeits. We uplift and support each other. The work of tikkun olam (healing the world) and social justice have long been Jewish values, as well. Welcoming the stranger, making sure that all people are fed and housed and clothed, and fighting for the rights of the oppressed are ways that we embrace this work.
Beginning in the 1980’s, Conservative rabbis took on discussing the needs and rights of LGBTQ+ members. In 2006, the Conservative Responsum provided guidelines for Conservative synagogues to bring more inclusivity to synagogue life for LGBTQ+ folks if individual synagogues wished to embrace this work. Various statements came out in the years following, affirming marriage equality and full integration of LGBTQ+ people into synagogue life until finally, in 2016, the Rabbinical Assembly passed an historic resolution affirming rights and inclusion for trans and gender non-conforming people. Creating a welcoming synagogue environment in Conservative Judaism remains a process that, “insists on observance of tradition and respect for visionary change.”
--Rabbi Bradley Artson
As with all historic change, we must join our voices to the call for equality and inclusion to bring those values alive in our communities. We plan to continue the work of creating a welcoming environment for all members by focusing our attention on educational programming to increase all of our understanding of LGBTQ+ needs. And we want to increase the visibility of MLC as a welcoming congregation in the community at large. We enjoyed a lovely Pride Shabbat during June, which was a relaxed and joyful celebration of our LGBTQ+ members and allies. In the upcoming months we’d also like to bring members together to enjoy community events, like movie or theater experiences, centered on the celebration of LGBTQ+ life.
We hope you are called to join us in the sweet work of creating deep, rich Jewish life at MLC for our LQBTQ+ members. Please reach out with any thoughts and ideas for inclusivity, and join us at meetings, worship, and events. Keshet means rainbow in Hebrew. It’s a beautiful image of peace, hope, and celebration, the coming together of all of us in one world, under one tent, one joyful community.