407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org


Pride – The most Jewish non-Jewish holiday

I’ve come to realize that Pride is the most Jewish non-Jewish holiday. Think about it. We’re celebrating the adversity we have faced in the past and constantly reminding the next generation through story telling what the real meaning of Pride is. We celebrate by throwing parades, parties and having a meal (somehow pride bunches are even longer than a Seder). We can’t even agree on the exact dates for Pride, heck in Orlando we moved our parade to October.

But probably most important is our willingness to ensure that our celebrations are inclusive and welcoming even for those not in our community. Think of the joy in having someone not Jewish attend your Seder. It’s not about converting them but instead being given an opportunity to share in one small slice of what it means to be Jewish. The same goes for having an ally attend a Pride event. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our pride for being in the LGBTQ community.

The LGBTQ community and Jewish community share a lot. From our constant fight against hatred towards us just because we are different, to our various sects and subgroups within our community each with their own unique identities.

But most imporant is that both the LGBTQ and Jewish communities view themsleves as an identity and culture. As Jews, most of us feel that being Jewish is more than just a religion, the same goes for being a member of the LGBTQ community. It’s just a community with cultures (and subcultures). And both often view this as a small but important part of their overall individual identity. I would struggle to define myself without mentioning that I’m gay or that I’m Jewish. Both are a huge part of who I am.

So on this Pride I encourage you to join in the celebrations but also take a moment to learn more about the LGBTQ community. This could be learning about why pronouns matter and adding yours to your email signature or yourZoom profile, understanding what it’s like to have two dads or two moms and encouraging your child’s school teacher to celebrate all parents in May (not just Mother’s Day), learning a little more about the LGBTQIA identities and what they mean, learning why there are various versions of the pride flag and hanging one at your house. I mean after all, it couldn’t be a Jewish holiday if we didn’t throw in more learning.

Happy Pride!

-Matt Broffman, Federation Board Member