May 23, 2024

A Source of Pride in GMW

Sharon Zucker Director of Welcoming and Inclusion

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is observed each year in June to raise awareness and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. 

The work of our Federation’s Welcoming & Inclusion Initiative has taken hold and is beginning to move the needle toward becoming a community that values the full inclusion of all individuals. In doing so, it is becoming more and more clear that continual examination of best practices is necessary to reach a greater understanding of the diversity among our LGBTQ+ members. 

Today, this work is more critical than ever. Polls show that while more LGBTQ+ Americans are openly expressing their identities, LGBTQ+ rights are increasingly under attack. Unfortunately, 2024 is shaping up to be yet another year of unprecedented anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and rhetoric. That makes it even more imperative that institutions across Greater MetroWest serve as places of true belonging and celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Pride Month typically includes events, marches, parades, festivities, and remembrances held throughout the month, marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 in New York City, when a gay bar in the West Village was raided by police. While these raids were unfortunately a regular occurrence, this particular incident kicked off five days of protests, changing the landscape of LGBTQ+ activism forever. One year later, on June 28, 1970, the first gay Pride march in NYC was held and has evolved into the month-long celebration we know today. 

Pride Month is also a call for greater unity, visibility, and equality for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as a time to reflect on the progress and setbacks of the past year. 

One way that many Jewish institutions herald this annual celebration is by hosting a Pride Shabbat. This year, Federation is encouraging LGBTQ+ community members and allies to celebrate Pride Shabbat at home, in addition to any other Pride events they’re attending.  

We’re excited to announce that, to help facilitate this effort, we’re making available a free Pride Shabbat Kit complete with special Shabbat candles, grape juice, a recipe for rainbow challah, Shabbat blessings, and other fun swag!  

Register here to reserve your kit and pick it up at a convenient location or at the Federation table at one of the community Pride events we’ll be attending. 

We ask that you light these special Shabbat candles on any Friday in June and, as you do, take a picture and post it using the hashtag #prideshabbatGMW and #IamGMW. We want to demonstrate what it means to be part of an inclusive Jewish community that celebrates diversity and allyship! 

As part of our Welcoming and Inclusion initiative, in addition to Pride Shabbat kits, Federation will be co-sponsoring additional Pride events throughout Greater MetroWest. Come find our table at Montclair Pride on June 8 and North Jersey Pride on June 9. These are fun, family-friendly events with music, vendors, and activities for kids! 

Check out our updated Celebrate Pride in Greater MetroWest webpage for additional resources, links, and to find other Pride celebrations happening in your community!