Keshet

Keshet creates programming for the entire community in a GLBTQ context. The committee focuses on Jewish learning/education, community partnerships, and social events for GLBTQ members, their families, and allies. For more information, or if you have a question you would like answered in this space, contact Keshet chair: Jason LeClair jasoneleclair@gmail.com or our staff liaison, Rabbi Jonathan Freirich, rabbijonathan@beth-el.com

Temple Beth El is an inclusive congregation and as such strives to meet the spiritual and cultural needs of gay and lesbian Jews, many of whom have felt marginalized by mainstream Jewish life. Through the activities of Keshet, they have come to see Temple Beth El as their home and their connection to the Jewish community. This group is a natural extension of the inclusive policies set forth by the Reform movement and serves as an example for other communal organizations.




 TEMPLE BETH EL AMENDMENT ONE RESOLUTION
(April 16, 2012 Board Meeting)

WHEREAS Temple Beth El's mission is to be a welcoming Reform congregation providing opportunity for ALL people to engage in Jewish life through social action, and its vision emphasizes inclusion and egalitarianism;

WHEREAS Temple Beth El seeks to be a sanctuary providing support, safety, healing, and justice, for the suffering and disenfranchised;

WHEREAS the Torah commands us to give the needy what they lack, in this case legal protection, civil rights and human dignity for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender individuals, so Jewish ethics demand us to act;

WHEREAS justice and human dignity are cherished Jewish values;

WHEREAS the Torah has one text, yet the interpretation is never fixed but ever in flux;

WHEREAS our Reform Jewish tradition teaches us that all human beings -- man, woman, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender -- are made in the image of God; that God and holiness can be present in all loving, permanent Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and heterosexual relationships;

WHEREAS the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) stated: "All Jews are religiously equal regardless of their sexual orientation";

WHEREAS in March 2000, the CCAR's resolution on Same Gender Officiation states, "that the relationship of a Jewish, same gender couple is worthy of affirmation through appropriate Jewish ritual";

WHEREAS the LGBT members of Temple Beth El are an integral part of our congregation, and that Keshet and its predecessor Chavurah Keshet have been active for over 15 years;

WHEREAS the current political climate challenges the human rights of members of our community and our nation because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and denies them legal rights;

WHEREAS Amendment #1 will appear on the North Carolina ballot on May 8, 2012, and it reads: "That marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State"; and this amendment clearly is antithetical to what Judaism and Temple Beth El stand for as outlined above;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Temple Beth El opposes Amendment #1 that will appear on the North Carolina Ballot on May 8, 2012;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President, the Board, and the Clergy, of Temple Beth El and will go on public record, through a letter to the congregation, educating and advocating against this Amendment on May 8, 2012.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the President, the Board, and the Clergy of Temple Beth El, publically endorse Keshet's active engagement with, and support of, other synagogues and houses of worship in North Carolina as allies in the efforts to advocate against this Amendment.




KESHET: WHAT THE Q?
A number of people have asked about the "Q" in LGBTQ. "Q" can stand for "queer," OR "questioning" "Queer" is a formerly derogatory term now being reclaimed by some gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons as a self-affirming umbrella term. It can still be extremely offensive when used as an epithet. "Questioning" is the questioning of one's gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, and concerned about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons.

Stonewall Commemoration Closing Prayer 2011 by Rabbi Jonathan Freirich

Krissa Palmer on our Washington D.C. 2011 Weddings

Sera Callif on Stonewall Commemoration 2011


Anonymous Inclusion Shabbat Remarks 2010