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Yom Sheini, 29 Shevat 5776

615 North Broad StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19123
P: (215) 923-2003  |  F: (215) 627-1313

Monday, 8th February 2016

graydon sancturayServes Philadelphia and the greater Delaware Valley's GLBT Jewish community and welcomes people of all gender and sexual identities. Since 1975, we've been committed to providing a comfortable place for people of all sexual orientations and religious affiliations to experience Judaism. In July 2007 Beth Ahavah affiliated with Congregation Rodeph Shalom and now shares a spiritual with them. Beth Ahavah retains its congregational status within the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and its membership in the World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga'avah. Beth Ahavah proudly offers its congregation dual membership at both Beth Ahavah and Rodeph Shalom.

RS Board Resolution Regarding Legalization of Same-Sex Marriages

When I read Rabbi Kuhn’s essay in the March 1, 2012 RS Bulletin, I thought that he made a very strong and convincing case for marriage equality. As Trustees, we now have an opportunity to respond positively to his leadership on this subject.

joan levin and ivan“Joan Levin, BA President, addressing RS Board of Trustees following Marriage Equality Resolution”

I believe that as Jews and as a Congregation, we should always play a proactive and visible role in promoting civil and human rights and liberties. This is an issue that calls for such involvement on our part.

I also believe that we have a special obligation to the members of Beth Ahavah to actively support their goals and aspirations whenever possible. We have welcomed them into our midst. They worship with us and participate fully in our Congregational activities. We have the same obligation to LGBT members of Rodeph Shalom who do not belong to Beth Ahavah.

I have not always felt as supportive of same-sex marriage as I do today. However, when I read that over 30% of the babies in the United States are born out-of-wedlock, it has become clear to me that any cause that promotes love, commitment, and family formation, as this does, is worthy of our enthusiastic support and advocacy.

I hope that you will vote in favor of the resolution before you:

"The Board of Trustees of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, PA supports the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States and authorizes its Rabbi and President to state the same in any forum they may deem appropriate."

-Ivan Gabel

Supporting at risk LGBT youth

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Joan Levin, BA President and Jeffrey Strauss, Treasurer and immediate past President, presenting a check on behalf of BA to Rebecca Strober for bar Noar,Tel Aviv, Israel. bar Noar is an organization supporting at risk LGBT youth providing a safe haven where they can get help and socialize. The facility was attacked in anger by the parents of one teenager and equipment was destroyed. BA has made a contribution to replace some of this equipment.

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