Celebrating Pride at Shalom Austin Means More Than Just Rainbows | Shalom Austin

Celebrating Pride at Shalom Austin Means More Than Just Rainbows

Jewish Family Service, The Jewish Outlook

Jun 23, 2022

By: Nada Antoun Dorman, MSW Candidate, Clinical Intern, Jewish Family Service  

For so many people, June signifies the start of summer; reminiscent of popsicles, family gatherings, get-togethers at the pool and long-awaited vacations with loved ones. For others, June holds true to the one month of the year when rainbow flags fly high and Pride is honored by global brands, local governments and non-profits alike from Austin to Australia.  

The world celebrates Pride in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots which occurred at the end of June in 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn and other lesbian and gay bars in Manhattan. Back then, there weren’t many places for people to be openly gay and New York City had laws prohibiting homosexuality in public. For days following the raid, demonstrations took place throughout the city which led to the beginning of the gay rights movement. Ever since then, Pride has been celebrated in June.  

Pride is a joyous time to celebrate and educate. For those who have been on the JCC campus this month, they’ve likely seen the beautiful rainbow flag blowing high in the wind. On Friday, June 17, Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service hosted a campus-wide day of events for more than 250 Shalom Austin JCamp campers with eight JFS staff members. The theme of the lesson was acceptance and love for both self and others; learning what it means to live with dignity, honor and love must first start from within.  

JFS Pride Education Group in GymJFS Staff working with Shalom Austin JCamps campers during an activity while learning about acceptance and self-love. Courtesy Nada Antoun Dorman

In addition to offering counseling and case management, JFS therapists lead incredible programming, including this summer’s hit series titled, “An LGBTQ+ Learning.” All sessions are free to attend in person and are available online.  

While June is such a special month for LGBTQ+ friends and family, JFS invites everyone to learn more, become allies and celebrate beyond just once a year. Their goal is to build a more inclusive, educated, and dignified community for all Jewish members, honoring each other every day, not only in June.  

People can visit The Human Rights Campaign, Jewish Queer Youth and Keshet websites for more information about supporting gay rights and better understanding ways to be an advocate for Jewish gay youth and for LGBTQ in Jewish life. Advancing the human rights of all people is an extremely important tenet of the work JFS therapists, case managers, staff and social workers. It’s an honor to serve every day at Shalom Austin and the greater Austin community.  

Save the date for the Austin Pride Parade in August.

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