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Photography, film and rainbow challot at EHRS Pride Weekend

An internationally-acclaimed photography exhibition entitled Queer Religion – featuring Progressive Jewish couple Cantor Tamara Wolfson and Rabbi Anna Wolfson – was part of the multifaceted Pride Weekend celebrations at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue (EHRS).

Award-winning photographer Frances Marshall delivered a special presentation of her exhibition – in which EHRS’s Cantor Tamara and her wife Rabbi Anna, of Mosaic Jewish Community, are featured subjects – followed by a Pride Shabbat Shiur (study session).

Cantor Tamara Wolfson and Rabbi Anna Wolfson photographer by Frances Marshall for the Queer Religion exhibition
Cantor Tamara Wolfson and Rabbi Anna Wolfson photographed by Frances Marshall

The morning continued with a Shabbat service where Cantor Tamara delivered a sermon to a packed synagogue, of more than 300 people, receiving an ovation as she compared her personal journey of coming out to that of the Israelites needing to be courageous in their journey.

Speaking afterwards, she said: “It was particularly moving for me, as a member of the LGBTQI+ community, to celebrate a three-day Pride Weekend with the EHRS community, and to feel the warmth, engagement and enthusiasm of all those in attendance.”

Celebratory events began on Thursday evening with the screening of the movie Pride, a comedy-drama film starring Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, which is based on a true story set at the time of the 1984 Miner’s Strike – depicting the mining communities learning to be fully accepting of the support of LGBTQI+ allies.

The EHRS Pride Friday night service featured a D’var Torah given by Alex Foley on behalf of Keshet, the Jewish organisation that supports the LGBTQI+ community and helps synagogues and Jewish organisations to be accessible to and inclusive of all.

The weekend’s Kiddushim included special rainbow challot made by synagogue volunteer bakers.

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, the Senior Rabbi of EHRS, said: “Every year, Pride helps our community to renew our commitment to our LGBTQI+ members and visitors, and to ensure that the Jewish community is safe, accepting, inclusive and nurturing of all.”

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