Congregation Beth El will once again serve as an Equality Sponsor of North Jersey Pride Festival and of North Jersey Pride’s month long Pride festivities. At Beth El, we celebrate the holiness of each member of our congregation, including our LGBTQ members. Due to scheduling of Pride month and the Hebrew calendar, North Jersey Pride Festival falls during the holiday of Shavuot. As we did in previous years when this was the case, we will continue to be an Equality Sponsor and celebrate the queer members of our community, but we will do so while still observing halakha and maintaining appropriate observance of the Shavuot festival. In accordance with observance of the holiday, we will not be setting up or tearing down our booth. Instead, North Jersey Pride volunteers will be doing so for us.
Additionally, we will not be doing any “name collection” at this event or asking anyone to write anything down. Rather, we will be present solely to celebrate. While one may feel that this is a case of Marit Ayin, where our actions might be seen as a violation of Jewish law to observers, we do not believe that to be the case, and such a concern should not dissuade us from participating in our responsibility to celebrate that each individual is made in God’s image. For those interested in being present at our Beth El booth during this festival,
you can sign-up here. There will be a group of congregants walking to the North Jersey Pride Festival together following Kiddush lunch on the first day of Shavuot.