Heartfelt words of welcome were in abundance from the leadership of Federation and the new LGBT Affinity Group called Jewish Pride during its inaugural event in Center Çity on March 5.
Campaign Vice Chair Ellyn Golder Saft paraphrased Gertrude Stein saying, “A Jew is a Jew is a Jew” to emphasize that “we want our Federation to be inclusive, embracing and engaging for all Jews in our community.”
Federation President Sherrie Savett addressed the concerns of several guests at the launch event who said they had felt marginalized in the past by what they perceived as Federation’s lack of concern for the needs and concerns of LGBT Jews. “We can and will do better with the input of caring, committed people like you,” Savett said.
The group’s co-chairs are Lynn Zeitlin and Dave Gold, who also sit on its planning committee along with Craig Blackman, Malcolm Lazin, Joan Levin, Lee Rosenfield, David Schwartz and Gary Bramnick.
Bramnick led an interactive dialogue with the event’s more than 40 participants, asking for their input in determining the focus of future programs and events.
Zeitlin expressed her hope that members of the LGBT community will become more involved in Federation and help the organization have a greater impact in meeting critical needs.
“Right here in Philadelphia, more than 13,000 Jewish adults are living at 200 percent below the poverty line,” she said, adding that “we already know of one Jewish resident of the John C. Anderson Apartments, Philadelphia’s LGBT Senior Housing Center.”
Zeitlin referred to those in attendance as “innovators” who are helping to lay a foundation of L’dor V’dor — making the LGBT community stronger and more involved for the next generation.
Gold encouraged guests to spread the word about Jewish Pride among their friends and colleagues and invited group members to participate in Federation’s Israel 66 Independence Day celebration on Sunday, May 18, at Penn’s Landing and to support Jewish Heritage Night on Thursday, May 29, at Citizens Bank Park, where there will be ample opportunities to socialize together.
For more information about Jewish PRIDE, call Rachel Sigman at 215-832-0513 or email: [email protected] .