As your spiritual leaders and as spiritual leaders in the State of Florida, we want to make it explicitly clear that we stand in opposition to The Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which was passed in the Florida Senate this week.
In the Jewish world, we are about to celebrate Purim, a holiday that encourages us to stop hiding behind costumes and fully embrace our true identities. On Purim, we read the Book of Esther and see how Queen Esther, a true Jewish heroine, finds the courage to drop the disguises that she hid behind and shares with the world her true identity. In doing so, Esther saves her own life, the life of her uncle, Mordechai, and the entire Jewish people.
Our Jewish values will not allow us to sit idly by as public school classrooms become places where young students need to replace the masks they wore during COVID with masks that hide their own identities. We are committed to ensuring that our students are reminded of the beautiful Jewish values we celebrate during Purim, specifically the coming out as our true selves. While we value the separation of church and state, we will not be silent when it comes to the safety and well-being of young LGBTQ Floridians, LGBTQ families and LGBTQ allies. It is time to take off our masks and share out beautiful, true selves with the world. In doing so, we believe that we will play a role in making the world a much better place for everyone.
Rabbi Andrew and Cantor Debbie