I was never taught that Judaism and queerness couldn’t go together.
“I’m Jewish and queer. The Jewish communities I grew up in weren’t radically accepting of my identity at that time, but I was never taught that queerness and Judaism — a love for Torah, love for mitzvot — couldn’t go together. Right from the start of college, Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis was such a welcoming and supportive community. I worked with another student to start the WashU Hillel group Nice Jewish Queers – NJQ at WUSTL. We wanted Nice Jewish Queers to focus on LGBTQIA+ Jewish voices while being open to anyone who wanted to learn more. This fall, I hosted a queer Shabbat dinner with 22 students. I looked around and realized that of the 22 people, most were both queer and Jewish, and that was really a special moment for me. My Judaism teaches me to love everybody. My Judaism teaches me to be radically accepting. And not only does it teach me about radical acceptance, but it also teaches me about radical love.” — Monica Rachel Sass, Washington University in St. Louis