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).

Please read this article by Aimee Close, who guided BHBE’s recently-created Strategic Plan.

Aimee Close.Why You Should Hove a Pride Shabbat

BHBE is proud to provide a warm, inviting, nurturing and joyful environment for our LGBTQ+ community.

This Pride Month has been planned to provide a platform for everyone to think about and discuss how our Jewish values inform us to be advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, equality, and inclusion.

Join in BHBE’s Pride activities and demonstrate your support.

Order by Thursday, June 15

Celebrate Pride Shabbat by purchasing a ready-made rainbow challah or choose a Take and Bake rainbow challah dough kit to make at home. Pick up Friday, June 23.

Click here to order your challah

June 23

Kabbalat Shabbat Services at the Beach, 6:00-7:30 PM, Wilmette Beach.

  • Arrive early, at 5:30 PM, to make posters to carry at the Pride Parade.
  • Remember to bring that delicious rainbow challah!

June 24

BHBE Pride Shabbat Morning Service

  • Fun and meaningful activities for all age groups
  • Browse LGBTQ+-related books from the BHBE library.
  • Wear the stickers and pins (available on Rotunda tables) to demonstrate your support of LGBTQ+ Inclusion
  • Learn about BHBE’s history and accomplishments as an inclusive community

June 25

Chicago’s 54th Annual Pride Parade 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Join with family, friends, fellow BHBE congregants and more than 10 Chicagoland Jewish organizations to show our solidarity at the Chicago Pride Parade!

Click here to register for the parade

In order to support new BHBE Library Pride acquisitions, our enhanced Kiddush on June 24, the Pride Parade registration, and LGBTQ+ committee activities, a suggested donation of $54 would be greatly appreciated. Of course, donations of any size are welcome.

Click here to make a donation to help with the costs of the weekend. Select “LGBTQ Plus” from the “Type” drop-down menu to direct your generous donation.

Looking forward to sharing this special weekend with you!

Please see this special note of appreciation!

Recent Events & Activities

Read the history of LGBTQ+ Inclusion at BHBE. Click here.

BHBE is now included in Keshet’s Equality Directory! Click here.

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! 

Join BHBE in 2023 for the 54th Chicago Pride Parade, June 25, 2023, Click here to register for the parade

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 us at

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:

Jackie Maris
Chicago Education & Training Manager
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Keshet: For LGBTQ Equality in Jewish life
4411 N Ravenswood Ave, Suite 300
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.