Gifts from the LGBTQ Community

A Reflection

in European Judaism

The article is a personal reflection, originally given as a sermon, on lessons learned from the experience of being a straight member of Beit Klal Yisrael. Beit Klal Yisrael is a largely, though not exclusively, LGBTQ Jewish community in West London, founded by Rabbi Sheila Shulman. The author found there no need to be part of a couple or a family, and no need to explain or apologize for her non-Jewish background. Community members understood that ties of affection, of choice and of shared lived experience were as significant as those of blood or socially recognized relationships.