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Pride Tribe

Temple Sinai embraces diversity among its congregants. The Pride Tribe puts a public face on that commitment by being deliberately inclusive of individuals of all ages in our Temple community who identify as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer), whether based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We invite you to help us shape our work based on your desires and passions—and especially on what you may be missing as part of your Jewish life here. Look for book, short story, and/or essay discussions, as well as film viewings that focus on the intersectionality of Judaism and LGBTQ themes. Some will be funny, some dramatic, some issue-oriented, all deliciously inclusive.

For more information, contact Susan Blackman at or (412) 687-8777.

Allies are welcome to all gatherings and to the conversation! Read our Keshet Handbook for help in creating allies and becoming more involved.

Notes from Pride Tribe 


Let’s take a look at pronouns with the help of Keshet, a national organization that works for the full equality of all LGBTQ+ Jews and our families in Jewish life.

  • Sexual Orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight, asexual). 
  • Sex refers to a set of biological attributes (male/female). 
  • Gender refers to socially constructed roles, behaviors, expressions, and identities for girls, boys, men, and women. 
  • Gender Identity describes an individual’s understanding of their own gender. 
  • Transgender is an umbrella term for anyone who identifies as a gender that is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. 
  • Non-binary is an umbrella term for those who identify as neither male nor female exclusively, or who falls outside the gender binary (male/female).

This is where pronouns become important. My middle child identifies as non-binary and uses the pronouns they/them. So what happens when I make a mistake? I apologize, correct myself, and keep talking. (It gets easier.) 

At Temple Sinai, we can start using these pronouns now—Sunshine Figlio, our Program Coordinator, identifies as non-binary and uses they/them. 
To support those who identify as non-binary and/or trans, we can put our own pronouns after our names on Zoom, in emails, or on name tags to show that we respect each other’s identities and to create a welcoming space for people of all genders and gender identities.

If you have questions or are interested in joining the Pride Tribe, which is open to all LGBTQ+ congregants, contact Susan Blackman at

Pride Tribe News is a new ChaiLights column written by Susan Blackman, Pride Tribe President, or another Pride Tribe member starting in the October/November 2021 issue.


Pride Tribe's library is filled with resources about being gay and Jewish, they are available for loan in the Falk Library at Temple Sinai.  Below are selected readings from the library.

Journeys & Arrivals reveals in a collection of equally potent autobiographical and critical essays the influence these often-conflicting identities of being gay and Jewish have had in his life and his writing. The child of Holocaust survivors, Raphael came to his positive Jewish identity late in life and his gay identity even later. 

By Lev Raphael


With eloquence and wit, Wayne Hoffman explores the unlikely camaraderie between a young Jewish man and an Orthodox rabbi, in this rich, insightful novel about love, honesty, faith, and belonging. In Yiddish, there is a word for it: bashert—the person you are fated to meet. Twenty-something Benji Steiner views the concept with skepticism. But the elderly rabbi who stumbles into Benji's office one day has no such doubts.

By Wayne Hoffman

This poignant and humorous collection of stories offers a fresh perspective on current issues such as homosexuality and anti-Semitism and lends a unique voice to those experiencing growing pains and self-discovery. In these stories characters anxiously discover their lesbian identities while beginning to understand, and finally to embrace, their Jewish heritage.

By Lesléa Newman


Acclaimed in Germany and England, this tragic and remarkable real-life love story won a Lambda Literary Award when it was first published in America in 1995. Lilly Wust ("Aimée") was a conventional middle-class mother of four, estranged from her philandering husband, when she met Felice Schragenheim ("Jaguar") in 1941. Their passionate affair unfolded against the backdrop of the deportation of Jews from Berlin, but several months passed before Felice could even bring herself to tell Lilly that she was Jewish and living illegally on the streets. "I knew, of course, what it meant," Lilly recalled in old age. "Not for a moment did I think that I too could be in danger. On the contrary, all I wanted to do now was to save her." Lilly's heroic efforts to conceal and protect Felice through the next two years make for painful and inspiring reading. Felice was arrested in August 1944 and sent her last letter to Lilly four months later.
By Erica Fischer

Found Tribe is a collection of intimate essays by and about gay Jewish men on the experience of coming out as gay within a Jewish context or as Jewish within a gay context. Written with honesty, humor, and insight, Found Tribe explores the joys and oys of coming out to family, lovers, rabbis, and others—and an Orthodox gay rabbi writes about Gayness and God. Found Tribe gives voice to the inextinguishable longing for community and acceptance in a religious identity that is defined by family and lineage, and serves as a beacon to isolated gay Jews that dignity and welcome await at the end of this rainbow.
By Lawrence Schimel

Known as "The Mayor of Castro Street" even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career, and final assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in America. It is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

By Randy Shilts

Tossed between sometimes contradictory cultural imperatives, queer Jews often find themselves in a soul-searching struggle to integrate their religious beliefs with their gayness. Over 30 contributors from around the world (including Israel, Serbia, and Australia) reveal their surprising, poignant, sometimes hilarious experiences in ways that offer a staggering perspective on issues of identity, institutions and culture from the viewpoint of the queer outsider struggling to belong.

Editor: Angela Brown

Pervasive anti-Semitism within the lesbian community inspired the first edition of this stimulating anthology in 1982: "I discovered that I felt far more vulnerable as a Jew than I did as a lesbian," writes Beck, director of women's studies at the University of Maryland. "What would happen if we admitted that oppressed groups can themselves be oppressive?" Responding to that challenge are 35 entries, including nine that are new and several that have been updated, ranging from poems and stories to short critiques and a photo-essay.

Edited by Evelyn Torton Beck

Tue, June 25 2024 19 Sivan 5784