Mardi Gras 2021: Jewish stars shining bright

March 8, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Kim Gotlieb is the vice-president of Sydney’s Jewish LGBTIQ+ Group Dayenu and has reported on the 2021 Mardi Gras.

He commented: “What an awesome spectacle it was to take over the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday evening and perform our dance routine to the crowd of LGBTIQA+ communities and supporters in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021 – our once-a-year day to celebrate.

While some were hesitant about the need to move the 2021 Mardi Gras Parade to the SCG  it was a remarkable spectacle with pyrotechnics and an awesome digital display adding to the spirit of the Queer community showcasing its creativity and presence.”

 “Jewish Stars Shining Bright” was the theme of this year’s Jewish float, featuring a 2-metre Magen David.

With a limit of forty participants, we were joined by Rabbi George Mordechai from Emanuel Synagogue and his wife, Michal overjoyed with their first experience of Mardi Gras.”

Rabbi Mordechai said: ‘It was an honour to represent the Emanuel clergy team at the parade.’

There were also participants from Netzer, Moishe House and a range of LGBTIQ+ Jews, as well as friends and supporters.

Benjamin Newman led a choreographed routine working with Rainbow stars and flags, which provided a glorious high energy ruach, especially when we had our “feature spot” in the centre of the stadium, to the tune of perennial Jewish standard, Hava Nagila.”

Rabbi Jacqui Nino, Kim Gotlieb and Rabbi Cantor George Mordechai

Jonathan David, President of Dayenu, added: It was great to return to a fabulous Mardi Gras Shabbat Dinner and Parade after a year of online events. We are so grateful that Emanuel synagogue was able to host us once again. Progressive Judaism remains one of the few faith communities to publicly support and embrace LGBT+ . Its so important to uphold this example for other faith communities, who might support LGBT+ people in a private manner but not yet publicly

Vice President, Kim Gotlieb also designed and built the float, with the support of Mardi Gras Community Workshop Manager, Jane Becker.

He said: “Maintaining a Queer Jewish presence both in Jewish communal context, as well as within Queer circles continues to be an important aspect of Dayenu’s purpose”.

 Friday night saw our regular Mardi Gras Shabbat service at Emanuel in which Rabbi Jacki Ninio spoke to the complex rainbow strands of the LGBTIQ+ acronym as well as the theme of this year’s Mardi Gras: RISE. “We rise when we have difficult or uncomfortable conversations when we are open to hearing perspectives which are different from our own and we find the courage and humility to listen and understand.”

This was followed by the regular Mardi Gras Shabbat dinner, attended by rabbis, Dayenu members and Emanuel supporters. MCs for the night were David Rosenberg and legendary drag artist, Fifi Glamcox.

“There is such a strong energy of strength and vitality at this time of the year, and we hope that it will sustain our community until we start planning next year’s Mardi Gras – hopefully back to our usual Oxford St parade, free of Covid restrictions,”, concluded Kim.

All photos: Toby Evans



6 Responses to “Mardi Gras 2021: Jewish stars shining bright”
  1. Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM says:

    In response to Adrian: I actually inhabit the 58th century and take my inspiration from the 25th century when the Torah was given.

  2. Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM says:

    I have indeed called out similarly outrageous breaches by some Charedi segments that have besmirched the good name of the law-abiding Charedi majority. Are you going to tell me that the majority of LBTGIQA+ opposed the selfish and possibly consequential breaches of post-Covid social interaction at the mardi gras? Because if you are, I will not believe you!

    • Michael Barnett says:

      If you’re so concerned I encourage you to contact Mardi Gras and find out what their COVID requirements were for the event and report back here. I am not aware of anything illegal occuring during the event. There were homophobic attacks on the night though, which I’m sure you’d be alarmed to hear of and no doubt feel outraged by.

      I do note your heartfelt concern for community members is absent on the March 26 2020 J-Wire article “A secret minyan in Melbourne”. Please be consistent if you’re going to point fingers at the gays and not also the Jews.

  3. Rabbi Chaim Ingram OAM says:

    No social distancing and no masking. Touching. Singing and dancing at close quarters. Kissing. Hugging. Oh, but wait! It’s the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras! So we mustn’t say anything! Right?

    • Michael Barnett says:

      Are you calling out all such situations, or only those you take an ideological opposition to? If you are looking for other groups to chastise, there are many many more ultra-orthodox you could point fingers at. It seems to me that you’re only calling out this group at Mardi Gras because you detest what they stand for.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      I am straight but get a life Rabbi Ingram and move into 21st century thinking.

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