June is the month to show your J-Pride!

Shana is a spunky and outgoing 29 year old originally from Minneapolis. She loves the local art scene, live music, and biking around the lakes. She and her girlfriend, Becca, both are DJ’s and spin at house parties and benefits all over the Twin Cities. During the day, Shana works for the Minneapolis Jewish Federation as the Young Adult Outreach and Engagement Manager. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved with young leadership give her a call! You can contact her at: [email protected] and don’t forget to join the Mpls Fed YL facebook page.

On Left: Shana Cohen. On Right: Becca Gee. Photo Credit: David Berg.

My favorite month in the Twin Cities is June because of the amazing opportunities the Twin Cities provide to celebrate the diversity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community! The Pride parade on Sunday, June 24th demonstrates the importance for visibility and equal rights for all.
The Jewish community has a unique opportunity to show their support by participating in the J-Pride section of the parade or volunteering at the J-Pride booth in Loring Park all day Sunday, June 24th. J-Pride is an organization for GLBTQ Jews and their allies in the Twin Cities and surrounding area. J-Pride works to affect positive change in the Jewish Community through social activities, educational events, spiritual opportunities, and community outreach. Our events are open to people of all sexualities and religions.
When I moved back to the Twin Cities last July after living on the east coast for ten years, the first things I noticed as I began to establish myself in the Jewish community was the invisibility of LGBTQ people serving as leaders and volunteers within the mainstream Jewish community.
I was hired by the Minneapolis Jewish Federation to run the Young Leadership Division because of my strong commitment to improving the lives of Jews globally. I am grateful to work for an organization that helps Jews from every walk of life, including myself. The Minneapolis Jewish Federation has improved my quality of life by providing me with a plethora of scholarships to participate in Judaic leadership opportunities. These opportunities include attending Jewish summer camp, religious school, participating in Jewish youth group, and even attending Birthright Israel. My family would have never been able to afford these opportunities if it was not for the generous nature of philanthropists and donors that give annually to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

On Left: Shana Cohen. On Right: Becca Gee. Photo Credit: David Berg.

I came out when I was fifteen years old and as I participated in Jewish life, I never was forced to pick or dichotomize my identity to be Jewish and also gay. I am an out lesbian in the professional Jewish community and I work for an organization that stand by its mission statement to “build community, care for the welfare of Jews everywhere and maximize participation in Jewish life” ensuring the prosperity, longevity, and accessibility for LGBTQ individuals to feel welcomed, comfortable, and encouraged to be leaders in the Jewish community.
Federation in partnership with JFCS is making a stand and supporting this community by sponsoring a J-Pride happy hour this Monday, June 18th 2012 at Rye Delicatessen.
LGBTQ Jews are successful business men and women; some are parents, brothers, sisters, and children. The Minneapolis Jewish Federation truly stands by its mission and encourages Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and every other color of the rainbow including allies, friends, advocates, partners, lovers, sweeties and supporters of LGBTQ Jews are invited to schmooze and mingle at Rye Delicatessen to celebrate PRIDE!

J-Pride Happy Hour

When: Monday, June 18th
Time: 5pm-8pm
Location: Rye Delicatessen. 1930 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403
Join J-Pride Facebook group here: