Love and Liberation: Celebrating Pride Month

WHC members in rainbow accessories behind the WHC banner at the 2023 Capital Pride Parade

Pride Month takes on a special vibrancy at Washington Hebrew Congregation each year as our already colorful Kreeger Lobby and Kaufmann Sanctuary become even more so with rainbow flags, lights, and more. Our LGBTQ+ group is hosting a program that celebrates love, identity, and the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

The festivities kick off with Pride Shabbat@WHC on Friday, June 7, 6:30 pm at Temple (note the later start time for Metro Minyan). This special Shabbat service promises a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all. Rabbi Noa Sattath, the Executive Director of The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), will lead the evening’s Shot of Torah — a thought-provoking discussion on a selected Torah passage. Rabbi Sattath previously directed the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), where she was responsible for leading public strategy on religion and state, gender equality, and the struggle against racism. Prior to her work at IRAC, she directed the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, where she was a partner in the historic process of leading the city’s inaugural pride parades. Furthermore, Rabbi Sattath served as the CEO of MEET, an organization that uses technology to develop joint leadership among Israeli and Palestinian youth from Israel and the West Bank.

The service will also feature personal stories and reflections from members of WHC’s LGBTQ+ community, creating a space for shared experiences and fostering a sense of belonging.

The celebration extends beyond the synagogue walls on Saturday, June 8, as WHC proudly participates in the annual Capital Pride Parade. This spectacle of color and joy is a chance for the congregation to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for inclusivity and equality. On Monday, June 10, Rabbi Eliana Fischel joins the Pride Interfaith Service at Foundry United Methodist Church in D.C.

All of these highlight our commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive space for all. This goes beyond mere celebration; it serves as a powerful statement of support for LGBTQ+ rights and a call for a more just and equitable world.