LEGACY: Marriage Equality

For each month of our anniversary year we will post a social justice “legacy of the month”—an action, initiative or event in our synagogue’s history that reflects our abiding commitment to Tikkun Olam. Taken together, these “highlights” demonstrate the creativity, energy, courage and initiative of our leaders and members as they sought to make Jewish social justice values real and sustaining. This legacy guides and inspires our community’s work of Tikkun Olam today.

In May 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Just one month later, two Ohabei Shalom members tied the knot with Rabbi Emerita Emily Lipof officiating the joyful event. Many people were critical of her decision to lead gay marriage ceremonies, but Rabbi Lipof was sure.  She recalls the wedding and the preparations leading up to it as “sacred work.”  She carefully reviewed and rewrote the ceremony to ensure it reflected two women.  And as soon as she spoke the words “According to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts…”, all the guests stood and cheered.–Laurel Sgan

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, recalls that joyful ceremony among many in the Boston Jewish community. Read their article: Massachusetts Jews Look Back at Legacy of Same-Sex Marriage First, Haaretz (May 31, 2014)