On Friday 24 June, Temple Israel celebrated Pride Shabbat, an event which has been run since 2013.
Previously taking place on the Shabbat before Cape Town Pride and hosted by the Green Point Synagogue, Covid has prompted a move to align the calendar with internationally recognised Pride Month, and to keep looking at how the service and message speaks to the wider issues that are faced by the LGBTIQA+ community, which continues to be wracked by hate crimes, prejudice and discrimination.
This year was of particular significance, as it saw the launch of Shemah Koleinu, a queer and Jewish-led human rights organisation whose mission is to advocate for and provide representation for those voices not being heard in our midst, and to create and promote equity, representation, and dignity for LGBTIQA+ people.
Rosie Motene, co-chair of The Other Foundation, was the invited guest speaker. She gave a very moving testimony and offered insights into how privilege, whether it be racial or cisgendered, is still so prevalent in our community, and the very real and devastating impact that it has on people’s lives. The message was clear — not all of us need to be activists, but we can all take action, and even the smallest actions, like not assuming someone else’s pronouns, can make the biggest difference to the person in front of us — to be seen as themselves.
Over 150 people attended the service offered in-person and online, and followed by a delicious meal catered by an extraordinary volunteer team, and made possible by generous donors. This set the space for a very meaningful evening on which we hope to continue to build a safe space for all.
Temple Israel www.templeisrael.co.za
• Published in the August 2022 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.
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