JQ's News: Baltimore's Jewish LGBTQ Newsletter
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August 2018
Ongoing Meetings

Eshel Baltimore/DC Meet Ups


LGBTQ Meetup

August 5, 2018 • 7-9 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. View details here

Parent Meeting

August 29, 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
Baltimore-Area Events

Services in the Park

August 3, 2018 • 6:00-8:30 pm

Waterfowl Pavilion, 1 Safari Place, Baltimore, MD 21217

Join the Beth Am community as they welcome the Shabbat Bride in the welcoming grounds of the Maryland Zoo. View details here

Queer Book Club

August 5, 2018 • 3-5 pm

GLCCB 2530 N Charles St, 3rd Fl Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Join fellow readers in a rousing discussion on selected books.

Suicide Prevention Discussion

August 8, 2018 • 8:30 pm

Chizuk Amuno Congregation
8100 Stevenson Road, Baltimore, MD 21208

Jewish community partners gather together to discuss suicide prevention. View details

Shabbat Morning Service

August 11, 2018/Parashat Re'eh • 9:30-11 am

Congregation Beit Tikvah, 5802 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

Join us at this Shabbat morning service welcoming the LGBTQIA community, led by Rabbi Fierstein, which will be followed by a community kiddush and a Torah discussion.

Now Showing: "The Cakemaker"

Screening from August 3-9

Parkway Theater, 5 W. North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

Thomas, a young German baker, is having an affair with Oren, an Israeli married man who has frequent business visits in Berlin. When Oren dies in a car crash in Israel, Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking for answers regarding his death. Under a fabricated identity, Thomas infiltrates into the life of Anat, his lover’s newly widowed wife, who owns a small Café in downtown Jerusalem. Thomas starts to work for her and create German cakes and cookies that bring life into her Café. Thomas finds himself involved in Anat’s life in a way far beyond his anticipation, and to protect the truth he will stretch his lie to a point of no return.

Buy tickets here

Talkback with Dr. Harriette Wimms (talkback date TBA)
Save the date for these national conferences!

Keshet Teen Shabbaton

August 24-26, 2018

Capital Retreat Center, Waynesboro, PA

Keshet is hosting an LGBTQ Teen and Ally Summer Shabbaton in the Greater Baltimore/DC area.  A great opportunity for a weekend of fun, community and learning for and by Jewish LGBTQ and ally teens! View details and register here


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.
Video: I am that scary trans person. Visit here for more videos
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 Cantor Rosalie Boxt, Director of Worship at the Union for Reform Judaism 

Preparing Your Light

Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen

I recently recalled a lovely teaching I learned from Rabbi Elie Kaunfer (Mechon Hadar) who taught of a scribe named Rabbi Meir who lived 2,000 years ago. He wrote the Torah by hand beautifully, but one important change (unheard of!) was made. In Genesis 3:21 where the Torah tells us,

God made coats of skin for Adam and his wife...", Rabbi Meir’s Torah read, “God made coats of light for Adam and his wife…”.  

What? How could this be? Why would Rabbi Meir do such a thing?

The Hebrew word for skin and light sound the same – in Hebrew, pronounced or.  And yet they have different “silent” letters – the word skin begins with the letter "ayin" and the word light begins with an "aleph."  Imagine that – imagine if our skin wasn’t what was important – but our light!  That during those moments of creation, which are ongoing every day, our souls and spirits are not cloaked in skin, or gender, or body parts, but instead with light.  

As the days of summer shorten we approach Elul, the month of preparation for the Holy Days, which begins on August 15th.  This month is designed for us to be days of renewal, of return, of re-imagining. Traditionally a shofar, a ram’s horn is blasted each day – “Wake up!  It’s time to shake off the ways that aren’t always working, it’s time to identify a new vision, new goals, it’s time to live into who we want to be in the world to ourselves, to our community and our world!”  This Elul perhaps we can ask ourselves, how can the cloaks of skin, of clothing, of external identity we observe around us, be viewed as light – as Rabbi Meir’s Torah challenges us? How can we use our light as a beacon for those who are lost, a spotlight on injustice, a new shade that contributes to the kaleidoscope of color that is humanity? One single light can fill the darkest cathedral. Imagine what all our lights, and not our skins, could bring to this world this 5779.

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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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