Sydney’s Mardi Gras Jewish contingent
Over 60 people danced up Sydney’s Oxford St. with a rainbow flag to choreography created by Kathy Baykitch and music which ranged from the Pesach song, “Dayenu” through Frank Sinatra’s “Love and Marriage” to gay anthem, “ Free, Gay & Happy”.
Marchers included members of Dayenu, with their friends and family as well as folk from both Habonim and Netzer youth group. President of Dayenu, Alex Linker said, the float was fantastic! It was great to see the support of the youth groups who came to march with us! Everyone had a fantastic night and I can’t wait for next year.”
The intermittent drizzle did nothing to diminish the electric energy of the night. “It was wonderful to feel the welcoming vibe throughout the parade”, said Kim Gotlieb, Secretary of Dayenu and organiser of this year’s float. He also added that it remains important to maintain a Jewish presence in the GLBTI community, as well as keeping the conversation alive in the various streams of Judaism. Kim was featured on the float wearing a dazzling gold sequinned outfit, which was previewed at the Mardi Gras Shabbat service and dinner at Emanuel synagogue in Woollahra.
Tiernan Brady, Executive Director of Australians for Equality was one of the speakers at the dinner, together with Justin Koonin, President of the Aids Council of NSW ( ACON) and a member of Emanuel Synagogue. Justin’s speech included reflections on the impact of a visit to Auschwitz. Tiernan, an Irish Catholic spoke of the importance of ongoing dialogue which encourage movement through acceptance, rather than criticising opposing views.
On the float was twelve year-old supporter Mia Richter-Weinstein who said, “It was really great, and everybody rocked it”.
Mardi Gras is a time where politics in pushed aside and everyone just want to party and have fun.
Dayenu, Sydney’s GLBTI Group added their own special flair to this year’s parade.