Orthodox Synagogue Openly Welcomes LBGT Community (JP)

Orthodox Synagogue Openly Welcomes LBGT Community (JP)

NY Orthodox synagogue openly welcomes LGBT community

“LGBT Jews who are Orthodox want a place in Orthodox Judaism.”

September 25, 2018 11:10
3 minute read.

LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018

(TNS) – An Orthodox synagogue in West Hempstead, NY is openly welcoming LGBT Jews, a rare public embrace that religious experts see as groundbreaking.

Kehilat Ahavat Yisrael opened in December and is holding services once a month that have drawn as many as 100 from both the LGBT and straight communities, said Shlomit Metz-Poolat, a lesbian who is the synagogue’s president and a co-founder.

Orthodox Judaism doesn’t condone homosexual relationships, which Metz-Poolat said keeps many LGBT Jews away from services. And those who do go to a synagogue, she said, usually stay silent about their sexual orientation because they fear either losing their membership or not getting an offer to join.

“You’re welcome,” she said, “just be quiet about it.”

Metz-Poolat lost her own membership at a synagogue she had attended for nearly two decades after her marriage to another woman became public. Without a place to worship, she pushed ahead with a plan to establish a synagogue where everyone would be welcome. The congregation meets at Wing Wan, a glatt kosher Chinese restaurant, while it looks for a permanent location.

“LGBT Jews who are Orthodox want a place in Orthodox Judaism,” Metz-Poolat said. “Because this is the only Judaism we know, and it is beautiful to us.”

MORE HERE: https://www.jpost.com//Diaspora/NY-Orthodox-synagogue-openly-welcomes-LGBT-community-567900

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