Temple Israel hosted the annual Pride Shabbat to coincide with the Cape Town Pride March and International Women’s Day of Prayer.
The shul was packed for a celebratory Friday night service with readings themed for the occasion around inclusivity and diversity. Members of the Jewish LGBTQI community read poetry and inspirational prayers for coming out and a wide range of guests from the broader Jewish community and other faith groups filled the shul.
Guest speaker was Dr Susan Levine from UCT’s School of African and Gender Studies who spoke about her own journey as a Jewish lesbian coming out to her parents and how supportive her family and community were, in contrast to the experience of many gay or lesbian people in South Africa and throughout the continent who face the spectre of jail or corrective rape for being who they are.
Rabbi Greg Alexander spoke about how we all have our closets and some are in, some out, but that our job is to build a Jewish community that is a safe space for all to be who they are and to love who they love.
Many thanks to the generous donors who sponsored the brocha and to the members who marched the Jewish Pride banner down Somerset Road in the march.