The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and its Jewish Community Relations Council are very proud of the Community Pride Shabbat, held in partnership with Keshet at the Adolph and Rose Levis JCC, on March 31.

Almost 200 people attended this warm and participatory Shabbat service led by Rabbi Greg Weisman, Rabbi Director on the Board of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, and Cantorial Soloist Jake Harris of Temple Beth El of Boca Raton. We are grateful that our community felt so strongly about this event that 14 organizations lent their support, and so many people turned out to worship together.

I’m so excited for our Community Pride Shabbat,” said Rabbi Weisman. “As the rights and protections for those who identify as LGBTQ+ are in peril around the world, taking the time to celebrate these members of our community and those who love them could not be more important. As a rabbi, I hear our tradition calling to notice, recognize, and celebrate the holiness of each human being, as a being made in G-d’s image.”

Notably, Pride Shabbat took place on Trans Day of Visibility, an annual awareness day observed around the world. The day was dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice.

“As our state sanctions erasure of LGBTQ+ identity in the public sector, it is even more important for our Jewish community to uphold the values of b’tzelem eloheim (image of G-d) and kavod (respect) and affirm every person’s identity, which is exactly what the Jewish community of South Palm Beach County is doing,” said Tracey Labgold, Keshet’s Florida Education and Training Manager.

Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest, which lasts from Friday evening to Saturday night. During Erev Shabbat, the Friday evening start to the holiday, people often come together and celebrate the end of the work week and enter the days of rest with a prayer service, candle lighting and festive dinner.

With such a wonderful outpouring for the first Pride Shabbat, we look forward to joining together with community partners for many more to come!