B’nai Jeshurun is a safe place to be who you are. It is a Jewish sanctuary for anyone who wants to come together with others to explore and exercise your spirituality and your role in the community.
Since our renaissance in the 1980s, members of the LGBTQIA+ community have been a core part of our kehillah. We committed early on to establishing a unique haven particularly for all kinds of Jewish searchers, or for those who have felt ill at ease or even unwelcome elsewhere.
While we celebrate that there are now fewer instances of this deplorable behavior toward gay men, lesbians, bisexual, transgender, and queer folk who seek a spiritual home, we know it still happens, sadly, and that some people have had trouble finding a Jewish community where they feel accepted for their whole selves.
We open our arms wide to all those who want to sing, worship, and work together, for one another, as a kahal—a collective, engaged Jewish enterprise. We took an active part in the fight for marriage equality and have rejoiced in celebrating many same-sex marriages since then. Allying with marginalized populations has always been a key part of our social justice work, which is itself central to our entire synagogue mission.
As a proud member of the UJA-Keshet Leadership Project, BJ maintains a partnership with Keshet, an organization that builds LGBTQIA-affirming communities, creates spaces in which all queer Jewish youth feel seen and valued, and advances LGBTQIA+ rights nationwide.
BJ has a long history of honoring the holiness and dignity of all human beings, of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
BJ is a diverse community, and we strive to be inclusive, accepting and embracing of all. In order to more explicitly demonstrate respect and acceptance of members from our community who are transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming, many of us have recently begun to use gender pronouns in our staff email signatures. In doing so, we are joining a growing number of individuals and organizations who do this as a way to say ‘you belong here’ to people who have often felt marginalized, especially in Jewish spaces.
We know that not everyone shares their pronouns in this way, or that this practice may be unfamiliar. If you have any questions about this practice and would like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to our staff.
We also invite you to read these recent articles about gender identity and pronouns, as well as some Jewish communal responses.