JQ's News: Baltimore's Jewish LGBTQ Newsletter
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October 2018

Fall Festivals

October 1-2, 2018

Looking for an LGBTQ-friendly congregation for Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah?
Check out our latest updated list of congregations and rabbis here and our exclusive interactive map. 

And, if you are looking for a welcoming Orthodox congregation, check out Eshel’s Welcoming Shuls Project here.
Ongoing Meetings

Eshel Baltimore/DC Meet Ups

Baltimore/DC LGBTQ Meetup

October 14, 2018 • 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Columbia, MD

Get together with our Baltimore/DC Eshel family. Join us in this intimate, confidential setting to meet others, like yourself, in the extended Eshel network. 
Baltimore/DC Eshel Support groups are co-sponsored by JQ Baltimore.​View details here

Baltimore/DC Parent Meeting

October 31, 2018 7 - 8:30 pm

For traditional Jewish parents of LGBT+ people who may be struggling with their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity and/or wish to connect with other parents like themselves. RSVP for location and fill out the contact form for future dates.

PFLAG Monthly Meetings 

PFLAG offers all kinds of resources, as well as several kinds of monthly support meetings in both Howard County and Baltimore County.

Howard County Meetings Location:

Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21044

Baltimore County Meetings Location:

The Church of The Holy Comforter, 130 W. Seminary Avenue, Lutherville, MD 21093

View details here
Upcoming Events

John Waters: Indecent Exposure

From October 7, 2018 — January 6, 2019


The first retrospective of John Waters's visual arts career in his hometown of Baltimore presents more than 160 provocative photographs, sculptures, and video and sound works. The exhibition concludes with a gallery devoted to ephemera, including objects from Waters’s home and studio that inspire him, and three peep-shows featuring footage from his rarely seen underground movies of the 1960s.
Reserve your tickets here.

Baltimore-Area Events

She is a Tree of Life: Weekend Immersion

October 12, 2018 at 6:00 pm - October 14, 2018 at 11:00 am

Kol HaLev: 130 W Seminary Ave, Lutherville MD 21093 
LGBTQ-friendly Shabbaton in Baltimore, exploration of the Divine Feminine in Judaism, Prayer, Movement, Drumming, Singing, and Dancing. Buy tickets here.

Re-membering Our Voices

October 14, 2018  • 4:00 - 7:00 pm

Waldorf School of Baltimore: 4801 Tamarind Road, Baltimore, MD 21209 
This is a benefit concert supporting Ezra Uganda Assistance and Advocates for Children and Youth. Buy tickets here.

Queer Family Potluck

October 20, 2018 • 11-1:30 pm

GLCCB, 2530 N. Charles St, 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21218

Join the LGBTQIA community for a monthly potluck for LGBTQ headed families.

Bring: Dish to share (20-25 people)
Your Own Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Toys and books to share

Drop In Cost: $5 per family (suggested but not required). View the Facebook event

DC and Beyond

Phone-In Orthodox Parent Support Group

October 3, 2018 • 9-10 pm

This group is for Orthodox Jewish parents with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children seeking peer support. We will also discuss ways to help parents and families navigate in their communities and to become advocates for their children.

This group meets by phone conference call at 6 PM PT/8 PM CT/ 9 PM ET on the first Wednesday of each month. If you are interested in participating and receiving the call-in
number, or have questions, write to
Save the date for these national conferences!

Eshel Parent Retreat

November 16-18, 2018

Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center, 5425 Mt. Gilead Rd., Reisterstown, MD 21136

Eshel has announced that their next annual national Parent Retreat for Orthodox Parents of LGBTQ Children will take place in the Baltimore area!  View details here
Recommended Reading


Join the Eshel Pledge Campaign

Help make Orthodox day schools more welcoming of LGBTQ students.
Commit your pledge here.

Mayor's LGBTQ Affairs Liason

Baltimore City hires Jabari Lyles as the LGBTQ Affairs Liason. Watch his TED Talk here.
Rabbi's Corner

JQ Baltimore is pleased to highlight a message of inclusion from one of our local clergy. This message is brought to us by Rabbi Josh Snyder, the Executive Director of Goucher College Hillel.

Being an Ally: On Pride and Humility

Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen
In Mussar, the tradition of Jewish self-discipline, the classical work known as Mesillat Yesharim (Path of the Upright/Straight) works through a series of character traits that one should work on
in sequence. The penultimate trait to acquire on the path to holiness is humility.

Now, as a Reconstructionist, I tend to approach traditional texts with an eye toward mining them for values and ideas of enduring worth, understanding the original context, and then willing to
use creativity and honesty in reconstructing the text for a contemporary application.

In this case, there is a lot to do with humility and pride in the original text (published in 1740) that many would see today in a negative light. It’s not big on self-esteem, a trait that today we
see as psychologically healthy. However, when the author, Rabbi Moses Hayyim Luzzato, speaks of acquiring humility, his words can be reconstructed as useful guidance for straight allies who begin to approach advocacy for LGBTQIA folks.
We have thus far spoken of humility in thought. We shall now speak of humility in action. The subject may be divided into four parts, dealing respectively with humility in one’s bearing, in enduring insults, in hating to exercise authority and shunning applause, and in honoring everyone.
As a straight ally, I have to begin my own advocacy by having humility in my bearing - admitting what I don’t know to my GLBTQ friends and colleagues, even that I’m sure there are things I don’t know that I don’t know! Most of all, I need to listen much more than I speak. I need to realize how important pride is for individuals who have been told to hide who they are, and allow their expressions to come to the fore.

Enduring insults means being willing to give up straight privilege when we stand with the LGBTQIA community, and deeply understanding the ways in which intolerance manifests itself. Hating to exercise authority and shunning applause means that as an advocate, I cannot speak for my LGBTQIA friend, neither should I be seeking the limelight for being an ally. Honoring everyone means that it is upon me to create a radically welcoming approach within every context over which I hold sway, including Jewish institutions, but in informal social circles as well when the opportunity arises.

Just as the time has come for pride for LGBTQ folks, not just for a week or a month, but every day, as straight allies behold that pride with awe and love, we need to lean into our own humility in order to be the best passionate advocates and supporters we can be.
Stay Connected with JQ Baltimore and LGBTQ Jewish Life
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JQ Baltimore is a Program of Fusion Partnerships, Inc. which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization --- donations to which are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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