Last year, I covered the story of two friends who were strip searched and detained by the police because they wanted to go to the pride event while wearing kippot. This year, Adina Cohen at the Jerusalem Post used that story as a lede in her discussion of the religious presence at last week’s pride parade.
The article does a good job of discussing why straight, religious Jews might be at the parade, and throws around a few of my juicy quotes, though i wish it would have mentioned that I am going to Orthodox rabbinic school. However, it fails to really delve into the unique religious nature of hte parade or of the pride movement in general in Jerusalem.
It would have been nice to mention that the Jerusalem Open House that organized the parade was co-founded by Rabbi Steve Greenberg, and that their most regular event is a monthly kabballat shabbat and potluck dinner. Another interesting story line could have been Bat Kol, the national organization for religious lesbians. This group, was perhaps the most moving and motivated at the parade. They marched as a group, wearing long skirts, and modest white blouses, while singing traditional chassidic tunes.
For all of the protests and the threats that came out of the chareidi community, the parade was a success for the religious Jewish community. There were kippot everywhere, worn by representatives of all religious denominations. At one point, Rachel Joseph Marrah, Anne Lewis, and myself were marching together. The three of us come from very different backgrounds, but we have one connection – we will all be starting rabbinical school next year, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox respectively. There could be a pride parade anywhere, but perhaps a Jewish parade could only happen in Jerusalem.