London 2012 JGLG celebrations
[Extract from JGLG’s Newsletter Special 40th Anniversary Edition]
40th Anniversary Chavurah
Friday 29th June 2012
We kicked off our anniversary celebrations on Friday 29th June with a Chavurah at the Montagu Centre led by the original three JGLG Rabbis - Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah, Rabbi Mark Solomon and Rabbi Irit Shillor. We had more than sixty people present and the evening opened with a welcome from Rabbi Danny Rich - Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism and our hosts at the Montagu Centre for many years. The evening was dedicated to Student Rabbi Andy Hinz - a JGLG member and leader of our Chavurot - so tragically murdered almost ten years ago to the day. It was a wonderful and moving service. Elli wrote a prayer marking our 40 years which we are delighted to reproduce below. And long-time member Tess Joseph wrote a poem marking the evening - again we are delighted to print this below....
World Congress of GLBT Jews’ Report
Monday and Tuesday 1st and 2nd July 2012
The World Congress of LGBT Jews decided to host their annual two day Board Meeting in London this year, to coincide with the JGLG 40th anniversary celebrations. Being the World Congress’s oldest LGBT member organisation, the Board were very keen to support JGLG’s 40th anniversary, and could not think of a better way to do this than to hold the annual meeting in London. The meeting, held at the Montagu Centre, was attended by members from across the world - Los Angeles and the United States, Mexico, Argentina, France, Israel and of course the UK. It was fantastic to see so many people that had come from so far. You may well have seen most of them at the amazing 40th anniversary events, as many attended the whole week of celebrations, not just the Board meeting.
At the Board Meeting we discussed a variety of issues, ranging from rising anti-Semitism, especially in eastern Europe to anti-Israel sentiment within the LGBT and wider community; the state of LGBT rights in the UK and Europe and the wider world; outreach to the liberal and orthodox communities; as well as more personal issues such as growing older/ageing in the LGBT community. We were privileged to have guest speakers such as Rabbi Danny Rich, Head of Liberal Judiasm, and Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies, who gave a fascinating ½ hour talk about both the work of the Board of Deputies and challenges facing the Jewish community in the UK. Mr Wineman also invited JGLG to become a member of the Board of Deputies, which was an amazing privilege and honour for us, and shows just how far we have come in the past 40 years!
The meeting closed on a very positive note, re-affirming the vital role that the World Congress plays as an international advocate for LGBT rights in the Jewish, and wider world. We were very honoured to be able to host the Board Meeting, and look forward to welcoming them in the future! Next year, the World Congress is hosting a full international conference in Winnipeg, Canada which, if previous conferences are anything to go by, should be a fantastic event. So please watch this space for further details, and start saving up those airmiles now! Steve V.
Reform Judaism Reception
Monday 2nd July 2012
Monday evening we were all invited to a special reception to mark World Pride, the World Congress of GLBT Jews holding their board meeting in London and of course our 40th anniversary - hosted by the Movement for Reform Judaism’s Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner. We were royally looked after with delicious snacks, plenty to drink and a good chance to mingle with other LGBT Jews. Rabbi Mark Solomon entertained us with some beautiful singing and we had a great evening. Peggy.
Pride - Saturday 7th July 2012
World Pride 2012, the true story...
This year JGLG celebrated World Pride Parade with our new banner and marched with The World Congress of GLBT Jews, Keshet UK, Beit Klal Yisrael, and Imahot v Avot. Despite late changes in the timing and content of the march, (more below) we mustered about 50 LGBT Jews with our friends of many minorities who helped carry the banners and became part of JGLG for the day. For parts of the march we were accompanied by Imaan representatives of LGBT Muslims with whom we are establishing links to set an example that cooperation is more important than differences.
The debate continues about who is to blame for the late rejection of any floats, and the reduced impact of the march by starting at 11am instead of 1pm. Our Rabbis and shul goers were unable to participate during the morning. On the one hand the resultant march was less commercial without the big sponsored floats, but the early start and the weather affected the numbers watching and marching this year. It is possible that difficulties of funding in the current economic climate, inefficiency of the organisers, and lack of willingness to resolve traffic issues played a part. Unfortunately no-one is coming clean about the real reasons. The afternoon in Trafalgar Square was packed and had good impact. If you are interested in this and the future of gay pride please contact Info@jglg.org.uk Ed T.
The Jewish contingent at World Pride, including Keshet UK, the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group, and the World Congress, relaxes after the march through the streets of London.
Rabbi Mark Solomon, Jonathan Falk, Howard Solomon, Soizick Jaffre, Ed Teeger, and Luis Perelman get the World Congress banner ready for the march.
The World Congress board of directors meets in London, July 2012.
President Howard Solomon (left) meets with Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism in the UK.
Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, meets with Howard Solomon.