What is Ritual Reconstructed all about?

The aim of this 12 month project was to support and enable reflection on identity and faith practice, with questions formulated by academic, rabbinic and community participants drawn from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex, (LGBTQI) London Jewish Community.

The core questions which underpinned this project were:

• When, how and under what circumstances do LGBTQI Jewish rituals represent a challenge to division, disconnection and exclusion?
• Do LGBTQI Jewish rituals affect a re/construction of belonging and identity to the wider Jewish and LGBTQI community?
• Are LGBTQI Jewish rituals spiritually empowering and if so how?
• Do they challenge the traditional “authentic” definition of Jewishness?

The project followed participants through a full ritual cycle (year) exploring the ways in which ritual practices are embedded in spiritual, social and community life and the inter-play between the development of annual, weekly and personal ritual which incorporates LGBTQI and Jewish identity.

Given that issues around Jewish LGBTQI communities are significantly under examined in the UK and wider Europe, the project will provide access to resources for discussion and policy consideration which holds the possibility to enhance intra-community cohesion; aid re)connection and assist inter-faith dialogue; in a way which reduces marginalisation for people of faith who are members of LGBTQI communities.

Margaret Greenfields and Jackie McPeak