The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
The inclusiveness of revelation prompts us to ensure that our communities – congregational, local, state and national – are fully inclusive, extending the same rights to LGBTQ individuals as they do to everyone else. The discussion of inclusiveness in this guide has two levels: within a synagogue community and in the wider public arena. Those who already have considered gay and lesbian inclusion and rights could use the opportunity of Shavuot to begin a discussion about full inclusion and rights for bisexual and transgender individuals as well. Finally, congregations and families can advocate for LGBTQ rights on a local and national level.
Reform Movement Resources:
Stay Informed About Local Issues and Take Action
Does your employer and/or congregation provide equal benefits to LGBTQ employees and their partners? Are domestic partners covered for healthcare and/or parental leave? Does your company engage in fair hiring practices? If not, advocate for workplace rights of LGBTQ individuals:
Put Together a Panel Discussion and/or Text Study on LGBT Issues as Part of a Tikkun Leil Shavuot
These sorts of educational programs can be a catalyst for creating a synagogue statement on LGBTQ issues that can then be used in press releases, letters to local newspapers or as a basis for future programs and advocacy. The congregation’s inclusion policies also should be clearly stated in membership materials. Panel discussions can also raise awareness about advocacy issues facing the LGBTQ community. These issues include hate crimes, discrimination, homelessness, anti-transgender violence and family issues, among others. Such a panel might also be followed by an advocacy action, such as letter writing.
Join with Other Religious Groups in Interfaith Education and Action
Organize an interfaith coalition to take action on timely issues. For instance, the coalition could be on call to advocate for local and state LGBTQ-related legislation.
Write letters-to-the-editor in conjunction with other religious institutions
Coordinate rallies, letter writing campaigns and prayer vigils
Host a Safe Zone Training
Make Space in Your Congregation Available to Host Meetings of Jewish LGBTQ Groups
Create a space for LGBTQ Jews in your community to meet in a safe location. Many Jewish LGBTQ individuals have experienced rejection from and are distanced from the Jewish community. Providing a meeting space signals your synagogue’s commitment to the LGBTQ community.
Make connections to Pride Month
The month of June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Because Shavuot usually falls in late May or early June, our Shavuot holiday celebrations can be an opportunity to link with local Pride celebrations.
Search URJ.org and the other Reform websites: