By Cantor Sheri Allen
For Makom Shelanu participants, June 4 began as a sobering and powerful morning at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum and ended with an exhilarating and powerful afternoon at the Dallas Pride Parade.
We arrived at the Museum at 10 a.m. and spent the next several hours with our amazing docent, Kathy Garber, as she shared the painful details tracing the history of antisemitism and the 10 stages of genocide that ultimately led to the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust. A particularly moving presentation titled “Dimensions in Testimony” allowed us to sit with a projected image of Max Glauben, z”l, a Holocaust survivor who passed away last year, and “ask him” questions about his life before and after his time in the camps. We then took a self-guided tour of the Stonewall exhibit, learning about the birth of the Pride Movement.
After our tour ended, a group of us made our way to the Dallas Pride parade, where we were rejuvenated by the thousands who showed up to celebrate a community that has endured much pain over the past few months, fighting for their right to simply exist. Some of our members marched with PFLAG in the parade, while others cheered from the sidelines. Seeing the throngs of grateful, joyful and pride-filled people provided an uplifting end to an emotionally exhausting, amazing day.
Two days later, puck glass and I, representing Makom Shelanu, spoke at the Fort Worth City Council Meeting, asking Mayor Mattie Parker to reinstate the Pride Badge, which she removed from her Summer Reading Challenge in local libraries after receiving some complaints from anti-LGBTQ evangelicals.
Justice Network Tarrant County (JNTC), a newly created social justice coalition made up of 20 area faith congregations (including Makom Shelanu), also showed up in full force. More than 25 members filled seats, some speaking, some there simply to lend support. Although their request was denied, Mayor Parker will be meeting with the JNTC to continue this conversation in the near future.
The rest of June is bursting with Pride programming, including:
June 17: Makom Shelanu Pride Shabbat: 10:30 a.m., First Congregational Church, 4201 Trail Lake Drive, Fort Worth
June 20: Justice Network Tarrant County’s Interfaith Pride Service: 7 p.m., Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave. Seventeen faith communities will be featured in this groundbreaking service, including Makom Shelanu!
June 24: Trinity Pride: Makom Shelanu is partnering with the Inclusive Faith Coalition of Tarrant County to sponsor a table.
All are welcome to attend any or all of these events! To learn more, contact Cantor Sheri Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org.