J-Pride’s Pride Month celebration was especially meaningful this year

By Hunter Wengersky • J-Pride Program Coordinator

Twin Cities Pride 2024 was an absolute delight! Thank you to all of our incredible community partners, volunteers, and JFCS staff members who helped staff the booth during Twin Cities Pride weekend. An additional thank you to the Minneapolis Rabbinical Association and Rabbi Stiefel for your assistance with facilitating the Ask-A-Rabbi Section of the booth, and to Hazzan Dulkin and the Cantors Assembly for the use of a Torah for the Pride Shabbat Service.

This year was marked with a joyful Pride Shabbat co-led by Rabbi Aaron Weininger and Rabbi Heather Renetzky, with over 80 people in attendance. A newly added Oneg sponsored by Adath Jeshurun invited people to mingle, reconnect and meet new friends. We’d like to also extend thanks to Heritage Judaica, for the use of its kippot and tallitot during the service.

Photos courtesy of Ethan Roberts

J-Pride participants and staff were joined by many folks from across the Twin Cities, including Mayim Rabim and St. Paul Jewish Federation among others, to toss candy, blow bubbles and march in the Twin Cities Pride Parade. JFCS’ PJ Library program led a storytime and craft activity for families. New to the J-Pride booth this year was an opportunity to share free PJ Library books, which was a meaningful way for the many families who visited the J-Pride booth to connect.

This year has been a particularly significant year for J-Pride, as the designation of Minnesota as a Trans Refuge state has meant an influx of new community members and new avenues of connection with current residents. We met a significant number of folks who stopped by the booth who were new to Minnesota and were excited that J-Pride exists as a pillar and source of connection for the Jewish LGBTQ+ community in Minnesota.

J-Pride kicked off this year’s Pride at the end of May with a visit to the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies archives at the University of Minnesota to take an in-depth look at the history of J-Pride and the LGBTQ+ Jewish community – I think we can definitely say that this Pride was one for the history books!

Thank you to everyone who visited the booth, spun the “spinny” wheel, marched with us, and shared our events – we hope you’ll join us next year!

For more information on J-Pride contact Hunter at hwengersky@jfcsmpls.org

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