Keshet is a national organization that works for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life. The organization equips Jewish leaders with tools to build LGBTQ-affirming communities, creates spaces for queer Jewish teens to feel valued and develop their own leadership skills, and mobilizes the Jewish community to fight for LGBTQ justice. Keshet’s blog spotlights this work, as well as the voices of LGBTQ Jews, our families, and allies.
During the holiday of Sukkot, it’s customary to invite honored guests into our homes and sukkot, the festival huts we build at this time of year. It’s a holiday that’s all about inclusion and bringing our friends, neighbors, and distinguished visitors in to our homes, and into these temporary shelters with us. These honored guests are known as
. You might even remember a cute Israeli movie about the trials and tribulations of a religious couple who think that their troublesome ushpizin are a test from heaven.
This year, we have a suggestion for some very special holiday guests for your sukkah. Invite politician Harvey Milk, activist and author Kate Bornstein, and writer Lesléa Newman into your sukkah — whether it’s at your home, your synagogue, your Jewish community center, or somewhere else.
We invite you to hang a poster of one of these Jewish heroes in your sukkah and let those who enter know that LGBT Jews have a home in your community.
Looking for more ideas about whom to invite into your sukkah this holiday?
- The website NeoHasid.org offers a different (and egalitarian!) take on the traditional text used to invite ushpizin into the sukkah.
- Lilith Magazine offers seven “Eco-Ushpizin” to join you.
- Plus, it’s traditional to invite one’s ancestors into the Sukkah, so consider making and hanging a family tree! InterfaithFamily.com has some great suggestions.
Plus, tell us who else you’re bringing into your sukkah with you. Who are the LGBT heroes in your life?
Pronounced: SOO-kah (oo as in book) or sue-KAH, Origin: Hebrew, the temporary hut built during the Harvest holiday of Sukkot.