Welcoming Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Members
The following policy was adopted at the March 2009 Board of Directors meeting:
Kol HaLev Welcomes all Jews, Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
Kol HaLev is a welcoming community that embraces a diversity of life experiences and Jewish journeys and fosters connections, communication and support among our members. In alignment with our values, vision and mission, Kol HaLev welcomes all Jews, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, as full participants in all religious practices and in the entire community life of the congregation. We invite gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) members, whether single or as a couple, with or without children, to join our community, using the same membership categories applicable to all other members.
Jewish GLBT members are encouraged to celebrate milestones in their lives, including anniversaries, by being called to the Torah for an aliyah. Kol HaLev celebrates with all members, gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or heterosexual, as their life cycle events are shared with the congregation.
We support our GLBT members who choose to sanctify their unions with commitment ceremonies. Prior to these ceremonies, couples are encouraged to celebrate an aufruf with the community at Shabbat services.
All members and their children are entitled to the services of Kol HaLev’s full-time clergy for the purpose of sanctifying their commitment ceremonies or weddings on an equal basis. In determining whether to perform the ceremony, the clergy will utilize the same criteria for same-sex commitment ceremonies and heterosexual weddings.
All GLBT members who adopt or give birth to children are encouraged to bring their children into the Jewish covenant through public rites of Brit Milah for boys and Simchat Bat for girls. Our congregation celebrates public covenant ceremonies during Shabbat services for both boys and girls.
Kol HaLev is committed to making our Hagiga educational program a welcoming and comfortable environment for children of all families. We commit ourselves to educating the children in our Hagiga educational program in a way that fosters acceptance of diversity. All programming in the Hagiga educational program, for both children and families, carry the same expectations and privileges for participation and involvement for GLBT families and heterosexual families.
Kol HaLev is committed not only to welcoming GLBT members but also to engaging in actions that support and promote the rights of those members within our community and the society at large.