Sending an Inclusive Message

On the heels of yesterday’s blog about inclusive new programs for Orthodox LGBT Jews in Israel, we have a story about same-sex relationships in the Jewish community. Shaarey Zedek, the largest synagogue in Winnipeg, announced it is “moving toward full inclusion for gay and lesbian Jews by offering to bless their same-sex unions.”

Rabbi Alan Green said Shaarey Zedek is likely the first Conservative synagogue in Canada to bless same-sex unions (though they stop just short of marriage). “It’s a simple matter of justice,” he said. “Why shouldn’t same-sex couples be sanctified?” The move is “long overdue” said one LGBT member of the community, adding that it is a “step in the process toward full equality.”

As supporters of full and equal rights for all in the Jewish community, regardless of background, we were excited to read this news. It’s a recognition and affirmation of the diversity that exists within our community. We hope that eventually the same level of inclusion will be extended to other groups who have been historically marginalized, specifically intermarried families and adult children of intermarriage. If the goal is to provide a welcoming and inclusive Jewish community, let’s make sure that message is intended for all in our midst.

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