Temple Concord will hold a LGBTQ Pride Month Event “#Where Pride Dwells: A Celebration of LGBTQ Jewish Life and Ritual,” presented by Rabbi Denise Eger via Zoom on Thursday, June 18, at 7 pm. Eger is a congregational rabbi and the editor of “Mishkan Ga’avah, Where Pride Dwells: A celebration of LGBTQ Jewish Life and Ritual,” recently published by CCAR Press. To find the Zoom invitation for this event, visit Temple Concord’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/templeconcord/.
Claudia Stallman, one of the organizers of the event, noted the importance of Pride Month. “Pride Month is a time to bring LGBTQ lives to the center of people’s attention,” she said. “It’s a chance to celebrate our community, including our allies, take stock of how far we’ve come, remember those we’ve lost in the struggle and rededicate ourselves to the work ahead. Individuals and families in our community are by no means universally accepted or safe in their neighborhoods or workplaces or country, for that matter. And it is obviously the case that those of us with black or brown skin, and with fewer economic means, have far less control over our own health and safety. Our cohesion, inclusiveness and strength as a community of LGBTQ folks and their allies is as important as ever.”
Stallman mentioned that Eger’s book speaks directly to her life. “Rabbi Eger’s book, ‘Where Pride Dwells,’ was a very happy discovery for me,” she added. “Remarkably, it includes prayers and blessings for life cycle events that are unique to we members of the LGBTQ community. ‘A Prayer Before Introducing My Partner to My Family’ includes these words: ‘Something that should be joyous and exciting is accompanied by fear. May I find the confidence and strength to overcome the obstacles before me to speak my truth, and to love freely.’
“‘Yes! Exactly right! Finally!’ were my thoughts when I read this,” Stallman continued. “Rabbi Eger’s anthology also includes readings to be used in community observances such as Pride Shabbat, Transgender Day of Remembrance and others. This collection of thoughtful, beautifully-written prose and poetry is a welcome resource. I want to thank Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell for calling my attention to this wonderful book and, as always, for her strong and longstanding allyship. She and I invite anyone and everyone with an interest to please join us for Rabbi Eger’s program.”
The publication of “Mishkan Ga’avah, Where Pride Dwells” commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March. The book has been called “both a spiritual resource and a celebratory affirmation of Jewish diversity.”
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said, “Rabbi Denise Eger, along with this volume’s many contributors, has expanded our tradition and elevated the entire Jewish community with her extraordinary collection of prayers and blessings consecrating holy moments in the lives of our LGBTQ family. I welcome ‘Mishkan Ga’avah: Where Pride Dwells’ into the sacred Jewish canon, confident that every lover of an inclusive Jewish life will turn to this inspiring work again and again.”