A cold wind in my face, lugging posters and “Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians” information materials down the dark street, I finally spot the house by the lights and good cheer.
Last Sunday evening, 25 January 2015, was a First for our group, “Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians”.
We had broadened the invitation for our meeting and were coming together as a community – parents, children and Keshet Activists- to relax and chat about what mattered to us as a Jewish LGBT community.
It was a lovely atmosphere. With the warm and generous hospitality of our hosts (I wish I hadn’t eaten before the meeting!); we exchanged tips on Simchas and derived support and encouragement from hearing each other’s stories.
Our journeys had been different.
What we had in common as parents was the nachas we felt seeing our children grow into themselves and find happiness and fulfilment accepting and expressing their sexuality.
We recognised that we were fortunate in the support we had found from friends and family.
Coming together made us all the more determined to ensure a safe space for every gay child growing up in the Jewish community. This was where I found hearing from the Keshet Activists so impressive and inspiring.
I hope their enthusiasm and tireless hard work in Jewish schools, Shuls and community groups help to encourage inclusivity in our community.
Keshet UK works to champion the inclusion of LGBT people in all areas of Jewish life in the United Kingdom by educating, advocating and raising awareness of relevant issues in the Jewish and wider community.
To quote the Chief Rabbi “When the Torah says ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ this is an all-embracing mitzva. “It doesn’t say ‘love your neighbour with the exception of A, B, C or D’. “It means our understanding, our compassion, our consideration should reach out to every single person, and this is how it should be.”
“Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians” are thankful to Keshet for making the world a better place for their children. Keshet’s work is carried out entirely by a team of volunteers, and is now actively fundraising so that they can do more.
If you would like to do the Mitzvah of supporting Keshet UK whether by attending a training session to become a Volunteer ( no need to be gay) or to make a donation to a wonderful cause in much need of funds, then please email email@example.com or go to www.keshet.org.uk