Jewish groups gear up for Pride activities

Pride Month culminates in the Bay Area June 23-24 with a slew of weekend festivities — including the 42nd annual LBGT Pride Parade — and a number of Jewish groups around the region will be participating and/or holding special events.

In Los Gatos, clergy from three Reform South Bay congregations and the Addison-Penzak JCC will lead the sixth annual South Bay Pride Shabbat at Congregation Shir Hadash on Saturday, June 23. The service will include selections and liturgical translations that focus on being gay or that celebrate difference more broadly, according to Rabbi Lisa Levenberg, an educator at Shir Hadash.

On Friday, June 29, three renewal synagogues in the East Bay will take part in the 10th annual LGBT Pride Kabbalat Shabbat at Chocmat HaLev in Berkeley. The event will include a potluck before the service and Kiddush afterward.

San Francisco Congregation Sha’ar Zahav will host its annual Pride Shabbat on Friday, June 22. During a dinner before the service, singer Daniel Redman will perform Walt Whitman poems that have been set to music. The service will include performances by Gay Iz Mir (Sha’ar Zahav’s klezmer band) and the Sha’ar Zahav chorus.

Last week, 20 or so members of Sha’ar Zahav and the Jewish LGBT group Keshet came together for a Pride Seder in which participants read from the Sha’ar Zahav “Pride Haggadah.”

As of early this week, the Israeli Consulate, the Contemporary Jewish Museum and Wider Bridge (an organization that seeks to strengthen ties between LGBT communities in Israel and the United States) had signed up for spots in the Sunday, June 24 San Francisco parade.

Actress Sarah Silverman will be one of the grand marshals of the parade, and numerous Jewish organizations, including Temple Sinai in Oakland and the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, have reserved booths at the two-day weekend celebration at Civic Center Plaza.

For more details on the Jewish events, see calendar, page 23. — george altshuler

George Altshuler
George Altshuler

George Altshuler is the rabbinic intern at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. He is on track to be ordained from Hebrew Union College in 2023. In 2012 and 2013, he worked as a calendar editor and staff writer in J.’s newsroom.