by James Whitely -
SGN Contributing Writer
On December 16, about 50 people gathered at the Sole Repair Shop on Capitol Hill to celebrate the sixth night of Hanukkah at "Light the Night: A GLBTQ Hanukkah," an event put on by Kolenu. Attendees met and mingled, and had the opportunity to purchase special themed drinks such as the Drunken Dreidel, the Oy Vey, My Drink Is Gay, the Flaming Menorah, the Gelt Shot and the Latkes and Applesauce.
Openly Gay Cantor David Serkin-Poole led the lighting of the menorah and a traditional prayer. Afterwards, eight local LGBT leaders from the Jewish community were honored and offered the chance to speak.
Among those honored were Audrey Haberman, executive director of the Pride Foundation, Louise Chernin, executive director of the Greater Seattle Business Association, and Josh Friedes, campaign manager for the Approve Referendum 71 Campaign.
Calling attention to the fact that many local LGBT leaders are also from the Jewish community, Chernin said, "We have leadership, we have guts, we have chutzpah." Chernin wanted everyone at the celebration to be proud to not only be LGBT, but to celebrate their Jewish heritage, as well. "Chutzpah" roughly translates to "audacity."
"Last march we celebrated Gay ol' Purim," said Josh Furman and Alysa Rosen, organizers and spokespeople for the event. In the Jewish LGBT community, Purim is unofficially regarded as the "coming-out holiday."
"We wanted to do another event to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah," the two told SGN. "We wanted to have an event that was multi-generational and would bring the Jewish LGBT community back together."
"Hanukkah is about being who you are and rededicating yourself to what you believe in," said Rosen and Furman. These elements of Hanukkah have obvious ties to the LGBT community, they added.
For more information on upcoming Kolenu events, contact either Josh or Alysa at Joshf@hilleluw.org, or Alysa@templebetham.org, or visit the "Gay Seattle Jews" page on Facebook.
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