What began as a simple Facebook group has now turned into one of the largest gay Jewish groups in the world and will this weekend be leading a delegation of LGBT Jews at London Pride.
Gay Jews in London, began life as a Facebook group set-up by gay Londoner Ben Kaye. He told PinkNews.co.uk: “Being gay and Jewish I feel like I am twice blessed. I love the culture, traditions, history and heritage of my religion, but do not relate to the ‘religious’ aspect.
Mr Kaye says that because he attended Jewish schools and spent his early life surrounded by Jewish people, he felt it “only natural to want to meet other guys in a similar situation to me.” So he began to look on Facebook for a group of gay Jews that he could join.
When he couldn’t find one, he decided to create one and name it ‘Gay Jews in London’
“Some of my friends joined the group, and then the group just kept expanding,” he explained. “It grew from from being just me, to now over 175 active members.”
“I decided to start organising some informal events – bar nights and dinners and it became immediately apparent that the group consisted of a group of fun, young guys, looking to meet other Jewish guys in an un-pressured relaxing environment.
“Since 1972, the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group (JGLG) has provided similar events together with regular religious services, but it’s a formal group with membership criteria and subscriptions. Gay Jews in London on the other hand has no membership criteria (other than defining oneself as a Jew) and the ease of joining on Facebook seems to have won over young gay Jews.”
Gay Jews in London will march together with JGLG and a primarily gay synagogue, Beit Klal Yisrael at this weekend’s London Pride. The groups say they hope to interact with other faith groups attending pride including LGBT Christians and Muslims.