LGBT Jewish group Keshet holds annual Chanukah celebration in Parliament

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Keshet UK held its third Chanukah reception in Parliament yesterday to celebrate the many achievements it has made over the past year.

The LGBT Group, which gets its name from the Hebrew word for ‘rainbow’, works to raise awareness of issues relating to equality and diversity within the Jewish and wider community.

In the last year Keshet UK has become a registered charity; secured funding for a presence on JHUB, an organisation that campaigns for positive social change in the British Jewish Community; as well as increasing its membership Benjamin Ellis, Dave Shaw and Alma Reisel, the Directors of the charity, welcomed Baroness Featherstone, a former Liberal Democrat MP and Equalities Minister, and Mike Freer MP.

Following the event, Mr Freer said: “Keshet UK have been at the forefront of ensuring LGBT Jews are not made to feel their religious and LGBT identities are incompatible.

“Attitudes have definitely changed and there is still progress to be made, but I would like to offer a message of hope that change has taken place and Keshet UK have played a leading role.”

Speaking to PinkNews after the event, Mr Freer said: “It was a pleasure to host what has now become the annual Keshet Chanukah event.

“Over the past few years Keshet has engaged with leaders in the Jewish community and we are seeing a shift in attitudes with some embracing same sex relationships and a willingness to engage at the more orthodox end if the community.

“It shows that a team of dedicated people can make a real difference and they are a role mode in how to engage faith communities.”