Thursday, 6 August 2009

Memorial service at Liberal Judaism centre in London to remember victims of anti-gay massacre in Tel Aviv

Was at a memorial ceremony on Wednesday at a Liberal Judaism Centre in London. The ceremony was organised to remember those killed in anti-gay massacre at Tel Aviv LGBT youth centre leaving 2 or 3 people dead (I still cannot get the correct info on numbers) and scores injured.

Never been at a Jewish memorial or religious related gathering before. The atmosphere was pretty relaxing there, although I’ve been told that this is because of Liberal Judaism which is different from (ultra)orthodox one. Amazingly for me, the rabbi was a young man in suit (see picture below, the one in suit and striped tie). What is also remarkable that liberal Jews are very open and accepting towards sexual minorities. There were special prayers there: “Prayer for the Acceptance of Sexual Diversity” and “A Straight’s Prayer for Young Israelis Shot for Being Gay”.


The ceremony included prayers, speeches by representatives of gay rights (esp. youth related) groups, songs by a guitar accompaniment. Btw, the girl who was playing the guitar was pretty cool. As I’ve been told (thanks to tablaqueen) she is the first drag king in Tel Aviv. I would never have guessed.

The booklet with the detailed programme of the memorial service contained the following closing quotes:
“We need to give strength to the child who comes to his parents and says: ‘I am gay,’ or I am lesbian;’ and this day needs to give the strength to everyone in the gay community to live their lives.” Tzipi Livni

”If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”
Harvey Milk, murdered American gay rights activist

6 comments:

Rhiannon said...

And that young Rabbi in a suit is openly gay too ;)
Actually I know there were at least 2 lesbian Rabbis there and at least one other gay one. This is more usual in Liberal Judaism than the other kinds. ;)

artmika said...

I thought he might be, but was not sure if he is openly gay. Good to know.

Btw, did you notice I still keep referring to you by your former screen name. Old habits die hard :)

Myrthe said...

Did you know that earlier this year the first African-American female rabbi was ordained? You can find a lot of media coverage on this if you google, but here is one article.

artmika said...

Excellent news. Thanks for the link, Myrthe.

peterdbenedict@hotmail.com said...

Wow ! Particularly impressive that Tippi Livni, one of the most murderous and evil women on the planet - proud of her record of slaughtering a thousand civilians in Gaza - should now be sucking up to minorities like us. Who do we expect support from next ? Robert Mugabe ? Radovan Karadic ? Adolf Hitler - ooops sorry that last one is dead. Seriously though : You should think twice before using a quote from her on your otherwise admirable blog. She is the living embodiment of evil and dare not set foot in the UK because there is a warrant out for her arrest as a war criminal.

ourmine said...

If only we had Liberal Judaism in Armenia...