A Virtual Panel on ‘Queer Spirituality’ Will Include Insights from Rabbi Eger’s New Book

Rabbi Denise Eger will share readings and insights from her new book, “Mishkan Ga’avah: Where Pride Dwells, A Celebration of LGBTQ Jewish Life and Ritual,” at an interfaith virtual panel on “Queer Spirituality” on June 11.

reform judaism, weho synagogue
Rabbi Denise Eger at Congregation Kol Ami.

The panel discussion will take place at 5 p.m. PDT and is hosted by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “Pride Inside — Where Pride Dwells: An Interfaith Discussion and Celebration of LGBTQ Spirituality” will be a conversation among Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith leaders and LGBTQ activists. It will focus on inclusion, compassion, challenges, and the lived spiritual experience of the LGBTQ and non-binary communities, including how these experiences have changed amid the ongoing pandemic.

Rabbi Eger is the founding rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami, West Hollywood’s Reform synagogue, and served as the first openly LGBTQ president of the CCAR.

The event is part of the global online celebration of Pride month replacing the traditional in-person marches and events this year. It will feature introductory remarks from CCAR Chief Executive Rabbi Hara Person and HRC President Alphonso David.

“Mishkan Ga’avah: Where Pride Dwells,” is a collection of LGBTQ prayers, poems, liturgy, and rituals meant to be a spiritual resource and a celebratory affirmation of Jewish diversity. Giving voice to the private and public sectors of the queer Jewish experience, the book is also a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of both the Stonewall Riots and the first Pride march, reflecting the longtime advocacy of the Reform Movement for full LGBTQ inclusion.

“’Mishkan Ga’avah’ is a visionary guide to LGBTQ inclusion within the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Person. “The Reform rabbinate has a long history of support for LGBTQ equality—due in part to Rabbi Eger’s extraordinary leadership and LGBTQ advocacy in the Jewish and secular world. It is my hope that this book finds a sacred place in Jewish homes, synagogues, and in the hands and hearts of everyone in the LGBTQ community and in the Jewish community, and it is an honor to join Rabbi Eger, the Human Rights Campaign, and our allies in the Muslim and Christian world to come together for an uplifting interfaith evening celebrating the spirituality and faith of the LGBTQ community.”

“As LGBTQ people celebrate Pride — while physically distancing due to COVID-19 — we must continue to explore and expand the ways we can come together to uplift our community, including through faith,” said Alphonso David. “Justice and equality for all members of our community is our goal and we must continue to find common ground between LGBTQ people and people of faith who share that goal. This event with the Central Conference of American Rabbis moves us all closer to our shared goals of justice and equality and mutual understanding. I look forward to celebrating Pride with people of all faiths throughout this Pride season.”

In addition to Eger, Person and David, other speakers will be:

  • Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, Sr. Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit
  • Ani Zonneveld, Founder and Executive Director, Muslims for Progressive Values
  • Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas, Sr. Pastor Cathedral of Hope, United Church of Christ, Dallas

For more details about the Zoom video conference and to RSVP, click here.