Close to 100 people from the area’s Jewish community gathered on April 17 in HRC’s Equality Forum to celebrate the spirit of Passover, a religious holiday commemorating the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as recounted in the book of Exodus.
Cantor Jason Kaufman of Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia led the ninth annual National Rainbow Seder, sponsored by the Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach and Engagement (GLOE) and HRC Foundation’s Religion and Faith Program.
Attendees listened to uplifting music by Cantor Kaufman, dined on unleavened Seder meal, prayed and drank four cups to this year's theme, “The Hidden Hungry, ” focusing on the one-third of the LGBTQ population and 15 percent of the Jewish population who are food insecure.
“We were so honored to co-host the National Rainbow Seder here in DC this past week and were reminded of the incredible tradition of leaders like Rabbi Joshua Heschel marching with MLK Jr. in Selma and the long history of the Jewish faithful being champions for justice - including LGBTQ equality,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training.
Days after the Seder, HRC Foundation released a guide to help LGBTQ Jews who are seeking to reconnect with their faith and build more inclusive communities.
Coming Home to Judaism and To Self features the personal journeys of prominent LGBTQ faith leaders, and highlights progress that many Jewish institutions have made toward becoming more welcoming and inclusive. The guide reflects a wide spectrum of personal experiences, and the variety of Jewish responses to welcoming LGBTQ families and friends in their communities.
Visit HRC’s Faith Positions to learn about the record and positions of all branches of Judaism on LGBT Equality.
HRC wishes everyone a joyous, just and redemptive Pesach.