Shaare Emeth welcomes HRC speaker for June 12 Pride Shabbat service

The LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) Pride celebration takes place during the month of June with parades, festivals and other events. As part of St. Louis’ celebration, Congregation Shaare Emeth will hold a special LGBTQ Pride Shabbat service at 6 p.m. on June 12. 

Pride was created originally to commemorate the June 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, which were a significant turning point in the gay civil rights movement. Today’s Pride celebration acknowledges the continuing struggle of LGBTQ people to gain equality, honors those who have endured discrimination and memorializes 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 in society at large. 

“Jewish tradition teaches us that every person is created b’tselem Elohim, in the Divine image,” says Rabbi James Bennett. “Our Pride Shabbat affirms our fundamental belief as Reform Jews that all people deserve to be loved and deserve to love — without discrimination, intolerance and fear.”

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

A nosh will precede the Pride Shabbat service at 5:15 p.m. The service will feature a special liturgy and guest speaker Elizabeth Schlesinger, attorney and member of the board of governors of Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization.

As an HRC governor, Schlesinger serves on the St. Louis steering committee, focusing on workplace equality and corporate sponsorships. She is an active supporter of PROMO, a Missouri organization advocating for LGBTQ equality through legislative action, electoral politics, grassroots organizing and community education.  She recently became involved in QJews, a grassroots organization committed to creating a safe space for engagement and empowerment of LGBTQ Jews in St. Louis.

Shaare Emeth is located at 11645 Ladue Road. For more information, call 314-569-0010 or visit