JPride's News: Baltimore's Jewish LGBTQ Newsletter
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Ongoing Meetings

Eshel Baltimore/DC Meet Ups

Baltimore/DC LGBTQ Meetup

December 16, 2018 • 7:00 - 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

December 26, 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
Learn more about this chapter here.

Baltimore County Meetings Location:

The Church of The Holy Comforter, 130 W. Seminary Avenue, Lutherville, MD 21093
Learn more about this chapter here.
Upcoming Events


Sunday, December 9, 2018
Time: 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
RSVP HERE for the address

Join us for an afternoon of warmth, music, light, and doughnuts! Open to all LGBTQ+ members of the community including family members and allies.

Baltimore-Area Events

The community partner, 4Front, is working with several associations to provide a series of lectures over the winter- 
Beyond the Binary
Intimacy, Sexualization, and Consent

Learn more about this partner here.

Beyond the Binary: Gender & Sexuality in Jewish Tradition with Keshet

Thursday, December 6, 2018 • 6:00 pm

Beth Israel Congregation 3706 Crondall Ln, Owings Mills, MD 21117

Learn about what Judaism has to say about gender, sex, and sexuality and hear from experts in the field. Get ready to challenge your own Jewish identity with this sophisticated new series powered by 4Front and our amazing partners.

Though we are often prone to portraying sex and gender as binary, ancient Jewish sources understood that these categories were more complex and diverse than we might expect.  Come to explore some of these ancient texts and consider what they might mean for how we think about gender and sexuality today. Keshet is a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life.

Kosher Dinner provided. ALL are welcome. 

Free for high school aged teens, but pre-registration required

Documenting LGBTQ Heritage in Maryland, Baltimore Edition

Sunday, December 9, 2018 • 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Clifton Pleasure Club, 2803 Grindon Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21214

The University of Maryland and Preservation Maryland, in partnership with the Clifton Pleasure Club, are excited present the initial phase of documenting LGBTQ history in Baltimore, Maryland! This phase is a part of a statewide LGBTQ Heritage Preservation effort being conducted by @PreservationMaryland as part of their #SixtoFix program ( We are excited to invite the LGBTQ community and allies from Baltimore and beyond to this event to show how LGBTQ heritage and history might be documented and preserved on all scales and budgets.

Learn more here.

Intimacy, Sexualization, and Consent: The Jewish Perspective

Thursday, December 13, 2018 • 11-1:30 pm

Bolton Street Synagogue, 212 W Cold Spring Ln, Baltimore, MD 21210

What does Judaism have to say about our bodies and the choices we make? Hear from two local rabbis as we explore topics such as consent, intimacy, and sexualization in modern times.

Free for high school aged teens, but pre-registration required

December Bash: Winter Fundraiser for the GLCCB 

Friday, December 14, 2018 • 7:00-11:00 PM

Maryland Room at the World Trade Center Institute, Baltimore, MD 

Slip into your winter best at the December Bash - a winter fundraiser to benefit the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland. Join fellow community members for an evening of food, friends and dancing with music by DjSwank and performances by this year's King & Queen of Pride with other local artists. 

Buy tickets here.

DC and Beyond

Oh Gaydel, Gaydel, Gaydel! Queer Chanukah Happy Hour

Thursday, December 6, 2018 • 6:00 - 9:00 pm

2317 18TH St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20009

Find out how flaming the Festival of Lights can be when you celebrate Chanukah with other LGBTQ Jews (and our friends) at Pitchers DC in Adams Morgan.

Learn more about this event here.

Torah & Sexuality: Blood, Power, & Purity

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 • 7:00 - 8:00 PM 

Sixth & 1 600 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

Take a deep dive into the traditions of niddah, Jewish laws regarding the separation of menstruating women from men. Discuss what’s gained and what’s lost by this practice, and how might it be meaningful for couples, both straight and LGBTQ. Led by JoHanna Potts, Education Director and co-founder of The Jewish Studio.
Each class is $18. Buy your tickets here.

Annual Holiday Potluck Dinner Party

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 • 7:30-9:30 pm

Owen Brown Interfaith Center in Sanctuary B, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045

The main dish will be provided by PFLAG Columbia-Howard County. Bring a side dish to share. Also, bring one or more items (new items only, please) to donate to the youths in Grassroots Family Shelter. Suggestions include:

  • Gift cards from Target, Walmart, AMC Theaters
  • Sweaters
  • Flannel pajamas
  • Sweats (small, medium, large, extra-large)
  • Sports Team items
  • Footballs and basketballs
  • Games
  • DVDs 
Learn more about this event here.

The Red Party: Celebrating 10 Years of the Capital Pride Alliance

December 1, 2018 9:00 PM 

Echo Stage, 2135 Queens Chapel Rd NE

Join us to celebrate and commemorate the continued commitment of the Capital Pride Alliance to secure the advances we have made as well as move forward on the important work that yet remains.

Buy tickets here.
Recommended Reading


Join the Eshel Pledge Campaign

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


This summer we'll be running THREE Queer Talmud Camps, with two back-to-back Queer Talmud Camps at Walker Creek Ranch! Come for one, come for two, come for three, but definitely come 😉. AND we're excited to be spreading some Queer Talmud love to the east coast with a new camp at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center. Read more here.

A Retreat for Orthodox Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews

JAN. 18-20, 2019 FALLS VILLAGE, CT 

During our annual weekend, we gather in this ever-growing community of formerly Orthodox/currently Orthodox/traditional/Ortho-curious folks and anyone who wants to experience a traditional Shabbat with other LGBTQ Jews.  During Shabbat we get to know each other, learn, sing, and schmooze, and Saturday night we share our talents and have lots of fun!  On Sunday we offer exciting out-of-the-box learning opportunities. Learn more here.
Rabbi's Corner

JPride Baltimore is pleased to highlight a message of inclusion from one of our local clergy.
This message is brought to us by Ariana Katz, the rabbi of Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl.​

The Miracle
of You

On Hannukah, one of the few mitzvot for the holiday is to “publicize the miracle,” by putting hannukiyot (Hannukah menorahs) in the window. As the nights get shorter, we fear that light might not return. So we light candles, bring the light. This light, like the lights of our neighbors who put candles in the window for the winter solstice, for Christmas, for Kwanza, fulfill that basic human instinct to bring light into the darkness. 

The hannukiyah in the window brings the light into darkness and declares the miracle that the few and vulnerable can overcome the many and powerful, like the brave Maccabees. 

The hannukiyah in the window declares that though we fear we will run out, abundance proves true, like the oil that lasted for 8 nights in the temple.

The act of coming out, too, is one of bravery and abundance. When we come out as LGBTQIA, or the family of someone who is LGBTQIA, it is an act of real power, and publicizing the miracle. Coming out declares the miracle of you, shines your light into the darkness.

But it can sometimes feel dangerous to publicize miracles, to declare joy openly. Our tradition tells us that in times of real, tangible, physical danger, we are not obligated to endanger ourselves by displaying the hannukiyah. The act of setting a hannukiyah in your window is an act of both defiance and of joy, just like the act of coming out is an act of both defiance, and of joy. The decision to not place a hannukiyah in your window, to preserve your safety, just like the decision to not come out at any given moment, is your choice and is holy.

And, inside your home, inside your sanctuaries, you can let your light shine. May we soon live in a world where our hannukiyot, and our brilliant queer selves, shine brightly. This Hannukah, however you publicize the miracle of light, the miracle of you, know we celebrate with you.

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JPride 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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JPride Baltimore · c/o Fusion Partnerships, Inc. · 1601 Guilford Avenue, 2 South · Baltimore, MD 21202 · USA

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