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September 4, 2015 | 20th Elul 5775
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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Inclusion
  1. Mar 2005 Digest 049

    Our temple has struck a task force to look at LGBT inclusion. As a first step, we are looking at our liturgy and life cycle rituals to ensure that all language used is welcoming and inclusive…Have any other temples been through this process? Does anyone have prayers or rituals (baby namings, weddings etc.) that have been adapted?
    1300 Families

  2. Mar 2005 Digest 049

    I am sure you and your rabbi will find that many of the life cycle rituals are easily adaptable with changes of pronoun and a more inclusive view of family. I would invite a couple of your LGBT members to be involved in some of the process.

    There is a book from the Department of Jewish Family Concerns that addresses

    many of these issues (; also is a great source of material.

    Some things to think about are the more day-to-day issues: The language on your application forms; your by-laws definition of member unit/family; policy regarding inter-marriage (policy would preferably be the same as for heterosexual couples); verbiage in the bulletin, etc. about families, etc.


  3. Mar 2005 Digest 049

    Many temples in the US have [LGBT inclusion material]--I'm not sure about Canada. …in Falls Church, VA, Temple Rodef Shalom has a group called "Keshet." So does Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD, and there are many others. But the person who has all the material you need is Rabbi Sharon Sobel, the Union’s Regional Director for Canada ( She's in Toronto, and she is outstanding on this issue.

  4. Mar 2005 Digest 050

    My congregation is predominately GLBT. About 10 to 15% of our members are not GLBT. Sometimes we have to be careful to not exclude or inadvertently insult our heterosexual members! Fortunately they all have great senses of humor about it!

    It is interesting that we obviously have similar issues as the make up of our membership evolves!

    We would be very happy to help anyone with prayers, inclusive language on forms, etc.

    My partner and I had a commitment ceremony two years ago--the service was written by a Conservative rabbi. Our ketubah is beautifully worded.

    80+ Units

  5. Mar 2005 Digest 050

    I think that there are only two of the Sheva B’rachot that mention "bride and groom." The one that lists all the female names can be changed to any ones that seem appropriate. I am sure you can find other words that feel right. Can even ask the couple for suggestions.


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