A ‘Grindr Shabbat’ in Brooklyn

(Photo by slgckgc, Creative commons license)

(Photo by slgckgc, Creative commons license)

Grindr Shabbat, a Shabbat service and dinner in New York that takes its name from the gay hook-up app, was founded more than a year ago to address questions about Judaism, Israel and “the intersectionality of being queer and being Jewish,” its founder, Matthew Green, says. Rose Kaplan writes in The Tablet about the second Grindr Shabbat she attended in Crown Heights.

“To sensationalize Grindr Shabbat around the apparently continued shock value of “gay + Jewish” would be a mistake,” she writes.

While it might not be perfect for everyone under the LGBTQ umbrella, Grindr Shabbat and more events like it are definitely necessary and will likely only become more so in the future, as more and more Jews begin to feel comfortable melding their Jewishness with their gender and sexuality.

The Shabbat, which is held about once a month, offers a vast array of foods and conversation that keep people “engaged far past the time when, as a kid, I would have already begged my leave.” And the 50 people or so who attend each event are a diverse group, Green said.

“They’re all over the place, religiously. There are Jews who consider themselves only ethnically Jewish and also Jews-by-choice, there are white Jews and Jews of color, there are Israelis, French, and Russian Jews, alongside North Americans. And they’re across the spectrum of L,G, B, T, Q, and straight. The fact that it’s a predominantly queer space has not turned off a variety of straight people in the neighborhood for joining us most Shabbatot. I love that.”

Go to The Tablet to learn what one attendee, who said he was a Hispanic Jew, had to say about the service, and to learn where other Grindr Shabbats may soon be held.

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