JQ's News: Baltimore's Jewish LGBTQ Newsletter
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March 2018
Chag Sameach
Ongoing Meetings

EshelEshel meet up in Baltimore!

March 11, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

A great opportunity for the Baltimore/DC community! Please join our monthly support group for Orthodox
(or formally Orthodox) LGBTQ and Orthodox family members of LGBTQ, co-sponsored by Eshel and JQ Baltimore. We have a new location that better serves the needs of both our Baltimore and DC participants.

View details for the March meeting here.

PFLAG Monthly Meeting 

March 13, 7:30 pm

PFLAG of Howard County offers all kinds of resources, as well as monthly support meetings. Their next meeting is about giving non-binary members of the LGBTQ community their voice.

View details for the March meeting and the organization here.

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

Special Announcement

Looking for a home seder to attend? JQ Baltimore will continue its custom of matching seder guests with seder hosts. 

Email us at if you would like to either be a host or be hosted. As it says in the Haggadah: "All who are hungry, let them come and eat"

Upcoming Events
Baltimore-area events

LGBTQ Community Seder

March 13, 6:30 pm

Join as we celebrate and tell the story of the Jewish liberation from Egypt along with our modern journey of liberation from the oppressive bonds of intolerance and fear. For families, friends and allies. Hosted by Bolton Street Synagogue and JQ Baltimore.

View details and register here.

DEADLINE TO RSVP - Extended to Friday, March 9

Bolton Street Synagogue 
212 W Cold Spring Ln
Baltimore, Maryland


Identity and Transformation:
An Evening with Abby Stein

March 22, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

A fascinating conversation between Rabbi Saroken and transgender activist Abby Stein that will move you  - both as a Jew and as a human being.

View details and register here.

The Soul Center
8101 Park Heights Avenue
Pikesville, Maryland
DC and Beyond 

Torah and Sexuality:Torah & Sexuality
Examining Gender Diversity in Jewish Texts

March 20, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Another in a series of Jewish learning classes. This session will be instructed by Rabbi Rachel Ackerman of Temple Shalom.

GLOE - The Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach & Engagement

View details here

Edlavitch DCJCC
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036


Second Night Community Seder, 2018

March 31, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

There is a place for you at this Passover Seder!

GLOE - The Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach & Engagement

View details here

Edlavitch DCJCC
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
In The News

GLSEN has formed a partnership with the new film Love, Simon. Read about this exciting development 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 Steven M. Fink of Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore.

When we celebrate Passover, we remember the time when Pharaoh finally allowed the Jewish people to leave Egypt. After the tenth plague, the death of the first-born sons, Pharaoh was not able to endure any more punishment.  So, in the middle of the night, our ancestors began their journey towards freedom and the promised land. Along with them came (Exodus 12:38) an Erev Rav, a mixed multitude, those from the bottom strata of Egyptian society who wanted the chance to make a new life for themselves.  They came with us not as slaves but as equals, for it says just a few verses later (Exodus 12:49) There shall be one law for the citizen and the stranger who dwells among you.”  This verse is particularly important to us as the debate in Congress about the Dreamers is continuing.

All four of my grandparents immigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe, one from Lithuania, another from Belarus, and two from the Ukraine.  My two grandmothers, were functionally illiterate. Each married and had children at a very young age. They each had four children and many grandchildren.  All of their grandchildren are college educated and most are professionals, involved in their communities and making the United States a better place for all people.  My four grandparents came here in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, part of the massive wave of immigration to the country. They each left countless siblings and relatives in the Old Country.  They hoped that their brothers and sisters would join them once they had made a life for themselves here. Alas, that was not to be for in 1924, Congress passed the Johnson-Reed Act which limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota provided immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census.  This immigration act effectively cut off the flow of Jews to the United States. Millions of Jews who could have immigrated to the US remained in Europe, only to be exterminated twenty years later during the Shoah.

It is hard to imagine what this country would look like without the contributions of American Jews. I maintain that we only benefit from an immigration policy that brings to this country immigrants from Latin America, Africa, Asia and even Norway.  We all have something to bring and contribute to the United States.

We recently had work done in our home.  Every single skilled workman was from El Salvador or Honduras.  These young men work hard, pay taxes, and strive to actualize their dreams in the United States.  As a community, we must support the Dreamers and oppose national and racial quotas for immigrants.  It is hard to imagine what our country would look like without the mosaic of people.

Rabbi Steven M. Fink
Temple Oheb Shalom
Baltimore, MD

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