Congregation Shaare Emeth to host  “In God’s Image: A Shabbaton of Inclusivity for LGBTQ+ Friends, Family, and Allies”

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Congregation Shaare Emeth’s Keshet Committee will host a series of virtual workshops and programming titled, In God’s Image: A Shabbaton of Inclusivity for LGBTQ+ Friends, Family, and Allies, beginning Wednesday, January 26, 2022. The series of virtual events will celebrate and provide support for family members of our LGBTQ+ community. Participants can attend all events or pick any combination of events. All programming is free, but registration is required. 

Part I: Wednesday, January 26, 2022, on Zoom ONLY (7 – 8:30 p.m.)
Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael, Director of Education and Training for KeshetOnline.org, will host a virtual workshop on how to become a better ally and advocate for those you love (children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and more) who identify as LGBTQ+.   

Part II: Friday, January 28, 2022, livestream from their website or on Facebook (6 p.m.)
Members of the Keshet Committee will help lead Shabbat services at 6 p.m.  

Part III: Saturday, January 29, 2022, on Zoom ONLY (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
The conversation will continue virtually for a morning Shabbaton with two workshops beginning at 10 a.m. that include:  

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10 – 10:55 a.m. | The Torah of our Community: a panel discussion with Shaare Emeth members from the LGBTQ+ community. We use the Torah of our lives to learn from our members’ stories and journeys and discuss what guides us. 

11 – 11:55 a.m. | Rabbi Daniel Bogard from Central Reform Congregation will share his experience as a parent of a transgender child. 

Register now for this exciting and meaningful programming.  

“I am excited for the Jewish community to be a part of our first Keshet Shabbaton. Almost three years ago, Shaare Emeth formed a committee of our members to support a truly affirming and inclusive congregation for our LGBTQ+ members and guests. Now, we want to expand our work. During this week of learning, we hope that the wider community will be inspired by the storytelling and skill-building we have planned,” Rabbi Lori Levine reflected. 

“With the training from the national Keshet staff, we have the opportunity to deepen our commitment to allyship and advocacy with LGBTQ+ issues. On Shabbat morning, we will hear from an amazing roster of community members. “ 

“Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once famously stated, on the topic of Jewish learning, ‘What we need more than anything else is not textbooks, but textpeople.’ For Torah study, our textpeople are Shaare Emeth members with diverse experiences who identify as LGBTQ+. Add to that the personal experience of Rabbi Daniel Bogard as a parent and a long-time ally, I know that, together, we will all benefit immensely. Our goal is to help our community continue to be a place where everyone feels safe, loved, and affirmed.”  

 “Shaare Emeth has provided an open, welcoming environment where members of the LGBTQIA+ community – young or old – are welcomed and supported. It is a safe space where anyone can be their authentic self. This workshop is important for those who want to learn more and/or be a better ally or advocate to and for their friends and loved ones,” commented Terri Jacobson, Keshet Committee member and parent of a nonbinary child. 

About Congregation Shaare Emeth’s Keshet Committee 

Keshet means rainbow or קשת in Hebrew. Since 2019, the Keshet Committee, with the leadership and partnership of Rabbi Levine, has been working toward affirming and welcoming members of the LGBTQ+ community. Our goal is to help the congregation live up to our highest values so that all congregants and prospective members feel truly at home at Shaare Emeth.  

The Keshet team hosts programming to support and celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion within our congregation and acts as a resource on LGBTQ+ issues to the congregational community.  

Congregation Shaare Emeth’s mission is to be a compassionate and inclusive community that makes Judaism relevant, meaningful, and joyfull.