Tomorrow night, on the eve of the 10th of Tevet—a day of remembrance on the Jewish calendar for those who have died in violence—a broad coalition including leaders from the Jewish and queer communities will gather to mourn those whose lives have been destroyed due to senseless hatred, and to demand an end to anti-LGBT rhetoric that is spoken “In God’s Name.”
The event, organized by grassroots activist group Queer Rising, will start with a rally at 7:30pm at the Parade Grounds of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The group will then begin a march through the heart of the Jewish neighborhood in Flatbush, the site of recent homophobic activity. The event will culminate with a communal recitation of the Jewish Mourner’s Kaddish Prayer.
“Many of us are deeply concerned about the rising tide of violence against LGBTQ people, here in the United States and all over the world,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST), New York City’s synagogue for LGBTQ Jews. “As Jews, we are horrified at the anti-gay bigotry coming in the name of Judaism at many of our youth, Jewish and non-Jewish.”
“When a rabbi says that gays are the cause of earthquakes, that gays desecrate the soil of Jerusalem, that gays are coming to pervert your children, I ask: what message does that send to a young, confused and isolated, gay, Jewish kid,” said Mordechai Levovitz, the co-Founder and co-Director of JQYouth, a social/support group for Orthodox queer youth. “It says, ‘We don’t want you.’ It says, ‘Leave the community.’”