Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, located at 303 Dodge Ave., hired the synagogue’s first openly gay Rabbi, Rachel Weiss, in 2016. At the time, hiring a woman as Senior Rabbi was momentous. JRC continues to be a daring and innovative congregation with a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, fully welcoming and celebrating LGBTQIA+ community for decades.
In honor of Pride month, JRC and Rabbi Weiss welcome the public to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with two Lakefront Shabbat Services on Friday, June 24 at Elliot Park (Lakeshore Boulevard at Hamilton Street) in Evanston.
Pride Shabbat Littles at the Lakefront invites queer families with children to meet other LGBTQIA+ families at a joyous service filled with story and song. Adults are encouraged to wear comfy clothes, get on the ground to sing and dance with their little ones. This cheerful mix of liturgy and singing led by Rabbi Weiss and Cantor Howard Friedland will add sparkle to Pride weekend. For families in search of a Jewish home, this service is a warm introduction to JRC’s beautiful community. All are welcome!
As the sun sets over Lake Michigan, Rabbi Weiss and Cantor Friedland will lead an hour-long service celebrating the struggle for LGBTQIA+ civil rights and full acceptance into Judaism.
“We are all created in the image of the divine and all of us are sacred, not in spite of our LGBTQIA+ identities, but BECAUSE of them,” says Rabbi Weiss.
JRC welcomes all identities – no exceptions – and praises the gifts that Queer Jews bring to the community. Whether a family with two moms, two dads, many parents, transgender, nonbinary, and cisgender people too – JRC celebrates you!
“When we show up with our full identities, we make the whole world more sacred,” says Rabbi Weiss.
JRC encourages the community to “bring your full self” to Pride Shabbat as they bless the rainbow!
“Given this time of violence, hate speech and hateful acts that we are experiencing as a nation, we need celebratory religious spaces that embrace and raise up collective joy in the diverse identities of our community,” adds Rabbi Weiss. “Joy is an act of spiritual resilience and resistance.”
Pride Shabbat Littles at the Lakefront
Geared for children under 5 and their grownups
Friday, June 24, 5:30 to 6 p.m.
Pride Shabbat Picnic
Friday, June 24, 6 to 7 p.m.
Pride Lakefront Shabbat
Friday, June 24, 7 to 8 p.m.
Submitted by JRC