Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"My little party attracted notice..."


When I came to a Let California Ring House Party held by student friends of mine, I knew right away that this was something I wanted to do myself. Not at my small home, where I find myself gathering mostly with other queer folks, but at my workplace—Chochmat HaLev, a progressive Jewish spiritual community in Berkeley. I love Chochmat HaLev, for its welcoming and supportive vibe as well as its ecstatic and contemplative variety of Jewish spirituality. It is a place of meeting points for me—where my identity as a queer person meets my identity as a spiritual person, and the main place (other than school) that I meet supportive straight people.

I was so surprised by the results. My little party attracted notice, not just at Chochmat HaLev, but in the Jewish and interfaith community all over the Bay Area, and even across the state and as far away as Santa Fe! Those who came were not necessarily the curious and open-minded allies I had expected to make welcome, but were strong leaders in the LGBT Jewish and interfaith communities for whom this event fit right in with the important work on LGBT equality they were already doing. We've made connections that will enable more of this work to be done not only at Chochmat but all over the state. I'm humbled to have been a part of this remarkable beginning.

Maya, Trina, and Liam from Let California Ring were a great support for me helping me organize things, plan the event, and get the word out. It was an amazing opportunity to start 2008 on a high note. I encourage anyone who is thinking about doing something for the freedom to marry to consider putting on a House Party—at your house, your office, your school, or any other place you gather. It’s the most fun way to help out, and the rewards are incredible.

I’d like to thank once again all those special people who made it out in the rain, who shared their spiritual and personal experiences, and whose actions will spread the work we are doing together farther and deeper into our communities. Thanks are due to Karen Ehrlichman from Jewish Mosaic, who couldn’t be there but who was indispensable for connecting me with the other people who pitched in, Rachel Biale, from Progressive Jewish Alliance, who added the power of PJA’s beautiful “Bringing the Orange Under the Huppah” campaign, Sasha T. Goldberg from Nehirim, who are creating an exciting spiritual retreat for LGBT Jews in March, Kerry Chaplin from California Faith for Equality, who was a great help not only with planning and publicity but with setting up and cleaning up, Steve Krantz at Jews for Marriage Equality, who helped us spread the news to Southern California, to Joy Silver for being excited enough to come all the way from Santa Fe, and to Maya, Trina, and Liam, and all at Let California Ring for being such an inspiration.

--

Kerrick Lucker
Office Manager
Chochmat HaLev

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.”
-Hafiz

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