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Already this month, we have celebrated inclusion in its many forms: making congregations accessible to those with disabilities, highlighting women's stories in the Torah and Talmud, breaking the Jewish glass ceiling for women, and of course, celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month. Women of Reform Judaism was ahead of its time and the entire Reform Movement in 1965, when it publicly supported the decriminalization of homosexuality. Since then, WRJ has not stopped speaking up for LGBTQ people and their rights as citizens and as Jews - and the entire Reform Jewish Movement has now joined in.
As a young, queer Jew growing up in a Reform synagogue, I didn't know that these resolutions were being made - that the women in our temple sisterhood were a part of a larger movement to support LGBTQ rights. But I never worried about acceptance in my community. Our small post-confirmation class with the rabbi frequently discussed Reform & Conservative Judaism's support of same-sex marriage. Our adult youth group advisors were a lesbian couple who were married by our rabbi. I knew that if and when I came out, it would be okay.
We all know that the Reform Movement supports LGBTQ Jews, but how can congregations, sisterhoods, and brotherhoods put this audacious hospitality into practice? Here are some ideas:
This Pride Month, I hope we can turn advocacy into action! For more tools, be sure to look at Women of Reform Judaism's LGBTQ materials, the RAC's social justice work on LGBTQ rights, and the extensive resources available from Keshet, an organization for LGBTQ Jews, educators, and allies. Please share your LGBTQ programs and advocacy efforts with us in the comments or in The Tent, the URJ’s online communication and collaboration forum.
This piece originally appeared in Women of Reform Judaism‘s email blast on June 12, 2015.