Gay Pride set for big Jewish turnout

July 1, 2010
Ben Kaye: founder of Gay Jews in London

Ben Kaye: founder of Gay Jews in London

Jewish groups will be one of the best represented at this weekend's London Gay Pride march, with over 100 people from the Jewish community expected to take part.

Three Jewish gay groups are marching together for the first time - the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group, Gay Jews in London and Beit Klal Yisrael.

Some will wave Israeli flags and flags with pink and rainbow Magen Davids. There will also be some wearing T-shirts which say "Jewlicious: 100% kosher".

Ben Kaye, 32, a former JFS pupil, began Gay Jews in London as a
Facebook group, which now has nearly 200 members.

He said: "I felt JGLG had a lot of older members and I wanted a young, fun group of people in London to do some informal events.

"We have Chanucah parties, drinks in Hampstead, visit museums and we've just set up a committee. We have a wide spectrum of members, from Orthodox to secular to rabbis and a member of the Board of Deputies.

"We are cross-political, I am very pro-Zionist and we have Israeli members, but we don't debate politics amongst ourselves too much.

"There are some people who are worried about us waving Israeli flags after the Gaza flotilla incident, but I think it is individual choice.

"Being gay and Jewish I feel like I am twice blessed. I love Israel, I love Jewish culture, but that can be hard to reconcile with being gay.

"So we are non-affiliated and non-religious but we generally wouldn't do anything on Shabbat, apart from Pride, because it is such a one-off event."

Mr Kaye, who got a tattoo of a rainbow Magen David in Israel, said: "We are a young group, the average age is about 28, and we just like to get together and have good conversation and good fun. I would love more people to know about us, and I hope Pride is a good way to get the message out there."

Gay Jews in London caters for gay men and women.

Last updated: 1:31pm, July 1 2010