Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah is proud to provide a warm, inviting, nurturing, and joyful environment for everyone who wishes to join our family. We strive to be an inclusive community, welcoming all Jews and their Jewish and/or interfaith partners and families, regardless of age, race, color, disability, religious background, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We are eager to help those who identify as LGBTQ+ to feel comfortable and accepted—and to enjoy full participation in every aspect of our synagogue life.

The Rabbi and Cantor officiate at same-sex weddings and aufrufs when both members of the couple are Jewish, gender-transition naming ceremonies, and brit milah, baby-naming and adoption ceremonies for the children of LGBTQ+ parents. (Rabbi Crane created the Conservative Movement’s standardized adoption ceremony for the children of LGBTQ+ parents.) They assign Torah aliyot to both members of same-sex Jewish couples and provide gender-neutral Hebrew terminology for aliyot. We welcome to our BHBE Academy the children of LGBTQ+ parents. We celebrate b’nai mitzvah and other smachot (happy occasions) of LGBTQ+ families the same as all families. And in times of bereavement, the BHBE community comes together to provide comfort and support to all its mourners.

At BHBE, we strive to promote communication, understanding, and acceptance not only within our own community, but also between and among the broader Jewish and LGBTQ+ communities. We maintain that all people are created b’tzelem Elokim (in God’s image); thus, we are committed to modeling behavior—in our congregation and in the world—that reflects core Jewish principles of equality, fairness, and chesed (unconditional loving kindness).

Recent Events & Activities

Virtual Pride Havdalah with Chicagoland Jewish Communities, June 27, 2020

BHBE hosted the virtual event with six other synagogues and organizations. To view the Facebook Event Page, click here.

Chicagoland-Keshet Leadership Summit, December 2, 2019

BHBE was one of 20 Chicagoland organizations participating in a yearlong leadership training to make BHBE a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ families and students. Click here for photos from the training.

Join us each June as we proudly march in the Chicago Pride Parade! 

To view BHBE at the 51st Chicago Pride Parade, June 30, 2019, click here.

To view BHBE at the Chicago Pride Parade, June 24, 2018, click here.

To view BHBE and the Pride Photo Gallery from Sunday, June 25, 2017, click here.

LGBTQ+ Inclusion Committee

Our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Committee works in close partnership with Keshet, the national Jewish LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, to promote LGBTQ+ visibility and inclusion by providing:

  • ongoing training for clergy, personnel, and lay leaders;
  • LGBTQ+-oriented programs and events;
  • programming to further our congregation’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues;
  • a comfortable atmosphere in which openly LGBTQ+ people feel encouraged to become involved in all aspects of synagogue life;
  • an all-gender restroom;
  • inclusive language on all synagogue-generated documents and communications

If you’re interested in joining  our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Committee, please contact Aaron Frankel.

Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth

Keshet assists the LGBTQ+ Inclusion Committee by providing ongoing consultation and training for leaders and the community to create and maintain a culture that is welcoming of LGBTQ+ Jews.

Keshet Resources and Contact Information:

Essie Shachar-Hill
Education and Training Manager for Keshet in Chicago
Pronouns: they/them/theirs
617-524-9227 ext. 125
Keshet: For LGBTQ Equality in Jewish Life
4700 N. Ravenswood Avenue, Suite B
Chicago, IL 60640

Additional LGBTQ+ Jewish Resources for Youth:

Additional LGBTQ+ Jewish Resources:

A Wider Bridge  A Wider Bridge is a North American organization working through education, advocacy, relationship-building and grant-making to foster equality by expanding LGBTQ inclusion in Israel and by cultivating constructive engagement with Israel.