The Jewish LGBTQ+ Community
Celebrated in the month of June, Pride Month honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. Having it recognized in a way that feels authentic is an important part of being seen and supported in the everyday lives of all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Temple Beth El is proud to be a safe, welcoming, and loving community for every household that wants to be part of our special congregation. We believe that God is not gendered, and love is not gendered, and that we have holy obligation to welcome all who seek to be part of our Jewish community. We have long championed civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community, and believe it is our mission to ensure that those traditionally marginalized from the Jewish community are made to feel at home in the embrace of our congregation. The Beth El Mausoleum is an extension of our congregation and its values, and that is part of the sanctity one feels in every facet of life at Temple Beth El, in moments of joy and celebration, Shabbat and Holy Days, and in moments of grief and loss. Our clergy and congregation are there for every single individual and household in our community, and together we seek to extend the healing power found in loving presence and community,” says Temple Beth El Senior Rabbi Dan Levin.
According to My Jewish Learning, “the Reform movement was the first of the major denominations to take a liberal position toward homosexuality, adopting the first of many resolutions on behalf of gays and lesbians in 1977.” Temple Beth El of Boca Raton is one of the most highly respected and leading Reform congregations in the United States. Notably, the Beth El Mausoleum, is the only mausoleum in the United States built on sacred temple grounds.
The legal challenges that LGBTQ+ individuals face when addressing topics relating to decision making for final arrangements for themselves or their partner are often frustrating and complex. Acknowledging who is the next of kin, do you need a power of attorney, where the place of burial will be, what type of burial ( casket or cremation, )etc., may be determined by well-meaning family members who do not accept that their loved one identifies as LGBTQ+ or of the relationship between their loved one and partner. It bears repeating that concerns like that involving others who do not respect sexual orientation or gender identity, could absolutely compromise final wishes.
Mausoleum Director, Mike Sirowitz shares this poignant story, “I recently helped a man make pre-need arrangements shortly after his father had passed away and was laid to rest in our Mausoleum. The man expressed overwhelming joy to know that when his time comes, he will be similarly laid to rest in a Jewish Mausoleum, next to his parents and with his husband. The Beth El Mausoleum provides a beautiful final resting place which is rooted in Jewish tradition and Jewish values. These values include the belief that we are all created in G-d’s image and all deserve to be treated equally, not only in life but also in death. At the Beth El Mausoleum, I am proud to be able to celebrate the lives and shared love of anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual identity, who wants to spend eternity in the warm embrace of our Jewish community.”
We feel grateful to have the ability and expertise to help people during these challenging times and embrace the importance of compassion and understanding to those who have experienced marginalization. With open hearts and minds, the Beth El Mausoleum welcomes the LGBTQ+ Jewish community to explore all we have to offer. Please contact our Mausoleum Director, Mike Sirowitz at 561-391-8901.