Big turnout for Pride Parade


More than 100 people representing 15 Jewish congregations and organizations participated in the St. Louis Pride Parade on June 27. Represented Jewish groups included:  B’nai Amoona, B’Nai El, CRC, Kol Am, Neve Shalom, Shaare Emeth, Shaare Zedek, Shir Hadash, Temple Emanuel, Temple Israel, and United Hebrew along with Jews United for Justice, Next Dor and St. Louis Hillel.

CRC joined more than a dozen St. Louis Jewish congregations & organizations at this year’s Pride Fest on Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27. We had the largest Jewish contingent ever in the St. Louis Pride Parade on Sunday, with more than 100 people marching behind a blue-and-rainbow “Tree of Life.”

Pride Fest and the Pride parade celebrate equality for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) community.

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This is the largest number of Jewish organizations that has ever participated in St. Louis Pride Fest or the Pride parade. CRC has participated for many years, but worked to develop this collaborative Jewish community effort over the past two years.

Our parade entry centered on a large Tree of Life, reflecting the 2010 Pride St. Louis theme, “Living Green Better Together.” The planning committee chose a Tree of Life to visually represent the Jewish commitment to honoring the diversity of creation and protecting our planet. In addition, each participating congregation & organization carried their own sign, demonstrating that our many communities are the branches that make up our diverse Jewish community.

As we marched, we were greeted by cheers from those watching the parade – both those with a specific connection to the Jewish community and those grateful when any faith group shows up to be supportive. Our marchers also had a great time bursting into spontaneous cheers and songs, including “Oseh Shalom,” as we walked.

The participating Jewish communities also shared a booth in the festival, where visitors decorated leaves for the Tree of Life, signed up for Missouri Health Care for All, and received information about the participating organizations. The booth was staffed throughout the weekend by members of the participating organizations, including CRC.

The booth had many visitors, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who thanked us for being there to demonstrate our support for the LGBT community. Visitors loved the candy Torahs and rainbow Star of David stickers. Several Jewish festival-goers expressed gratitude at seeing their community represented at the event. Perhaps the most poignant comment came from a young woman who stopped by late on Sunday evening: “I’m so glad you’re here. I just moved to St. Louis and I’m totally disconnected from the Jewish community because none of the synagogues in my old city were truly open to me as a lesbian.” She took information about Next Dor and several congregations and said she was looking forward to getting involved.

Pride Fest marchers and participants included members of B’Nai Amoona, B’Nai El, CRC, Kol Am, Neve Shalom, Shaare Emeth, Shaare Zedek Shir Hadash, Temple Emanuel, Temple Israel, and United Hebrew. Participating organizations included Jews United for Justice, Next Dor, and St. Louis Hillel.

This year’s Pride Fest was a definite success. Leaders from our congregations and organizations are already talking about how to make next year’s collaboration even bigger and more exciting. Mark your calendars and plan to join us during the last weekend in June!