“There is a cultural divide between the rabbis and the LGBTQ+ community,” Miryam Kabakov, executive director of the nonprofit Eshel, which supports LGBTQ Orthodox Jews and their families, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency about the flag controversy.

“The rabbis think that LGBTQ+ symbols are about sex,” Kabakov added. “They are not. They are about not feeling shame anymore for who you are. They are about turning shame on its head, so that you can walk into shul with your head held up high, proud of everything that you are and not hiding who you are” …


Eshel participated in a planned rally on Monday in support of the Pride flags’ return, which was organized by the LGBTQ music festival that took place earlier this month around the corner from the synagogue. The event “went amazingly well,” Kabakov said. Yet, she added, “We worry about the future of Orthodox LGBTQ+ people.”

Orthodox leaders, she said, “are lagging behind in fully integrating what was true all along, that LGBTQ+ people are part of their shuls whether they know it or not.”