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.
“The sukkah invites the Jewish community to effect change in the way it treats all people. This may include those to whom Jewish institutions may be blind – singles, gays, lesbians, transgender people, the unengaged, the elderly, newcomers, and the marginalized (as well as a whole host of other community members with special needs). These “outsiders” may already be in synagogues, quiet and in the back, but on Sukkot, Jews are commanded to welcome them as guests.”
“But when men and women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, singles and married, young and old, all stand together – we can, as is so of the lulav and etrog, move in many directions.”
—Rabbi Andrew Sacks
“Sukkot teaches us that to be truly welcoming we need to make ourselves visible and we need to push ourselves to be a little uncomfortable to make room for a wider welcome.”
“Why does that Torah reject a tidy satisfying closure to its epic tale? There’s a message here… Life, like Torah, is a wandering journey in the wilderness, not a destination. Even the major developmental steps of a life – education, career choice, sexual identity, love relationship, family formation, geographic location, retirement – seldom come in exactly the right order at the right time. This is even more true in the queer community. How many of my friends have “gone back to school” later in life? How many have children in their forties or fifties? How many spent their twenties or thirties (or later) negotiating a new gender or sexual identity? How many times have I myself come out? It never stops. Just when I think that I’m about to reach the Promised Land, wham! There I am back at the beginning… As Jewish individuals, communities, and as a people, each time we return to the beginning, we do so with a bit more experience and wisdom. Though we didn’t reach the Promised Land, perhaps we learned a bit more in the last cycle of our journey. There is a richness and depth to revisiting important themes, both in Torah and in our lives. As we return to the beginning, we also get to look forward to a more complex future.”
—Rabbi Jane Litman
A compilation of ways to make sure your Jewish community has the resources for an inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ members and their families during the holidays.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.