LGBTQ Jewish Community Anticipates Solidarity March

Members of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, seen here standing in solidarity with the Muslim community, expect a large contingent at a January 5 march against anti-Semitism and discrimination.
CONGREGATION BEIT SINCHAT TORAH

In response to numerous anti-Semitic attacks in New York City and beyond, New Yorkers will gather in Manhattan on January 5 for a solidarity march — and the LGBTQ Jewish community will be well-represented.

The march, dubbed “No Hate. No Fear,” will kick off at 11 a.m. at Foley Square and proceed across the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza, where a rally will take place.

“The 1.5 million Jews of our great city and region will not stand down,” reads a description of the event by UJA Federation of New York.

Among those slated to attend include Jewish LGBTQ groups as well as queer and allied folks of other religious backgrounds. Attendees are stressing the importance of showing interfaith collaboration in the face of hate targeting Muslims, Christians, and other faiths.

“We stand with our immigrant and Muslim communities when they are under attack and we are deeply moved to be joined by allies condemning anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST), a synagogue in Manhattan that has long served LGBTQ Jewish folks.

CBST is expecting a large contingent at the march and Kleimbaum is planning to speak on stage in front of the crowd.

“We call on all people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and whatever other identities we hold dear to continue being the reason that others believe in the goodness of people,” Kleinbaum added.

Jason Rosenberg, an out gay Jewish New Yorker who is an activist and member of ACT UP, said the march represents an opportunity to resist all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism, racism, transphobia, and more.

“I think we are seeing internal tensions in the Jewish community and I think it’s important we come together and we show up for people along the margins of denomination and identity, and to celebrate the diversity of the Jewish faith,” Rosenberg said.

The march follows an escalation of anti-Semitic attacks locally, especially during the month of December. There was a deadly attack at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City on December 10, and on December 28, a man invaded a Hasidic rabbi’s home in the New York City suburb of Monsey and stabbed half a dozen people. There have been numerous other anti-Semitic on buses, in the street, and train platforms, and other public spaces.

In September, Adam Eli, a gay Jewish man, filmed a bigot lashing out at him with anti-Semitic slurs. The man is overheard telling Eli to “Stay in the closet! … Take your kippah off! This is not Judaism!”

According to a Facebook event page dedicated to the January 5 march, more than 1,700 people are committed to attending and 4,400 others are interested, though that is not necessarily indicative of the expected turnout. Many others who have not made an RSVP on Facebook are likely to attend.

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