This year’s Pride Shabbat Dinner has added an inaugural guest: the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus.
The 15-year annual traditional dinner is hosted by Congregation Rodeph Shalom’s Queer Connections group, Prism. The attending chorus is Brotherly Love, PGMC’s select 16-voice ensemble. They’re fresh off their Pride Tour Concert, which ended in Lancaster last month, and are set to perform several songs from that same bills, including hits like “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman and “A Patriotic Finale (Color Out Of Colorado)” from When Pigs Fly.
Joseph Buches, PGMC artistic director, said he specifically chose songs themed for Pride.
PGMC, which hasn’t performed at Rodeph Shalom since 2008, agreed to perform at the request of Heshie Zinman, Prism’s chair and the Shabat organizer.
“We reached out to the Gay Men’s Chorus because they embody gay pride,” said Zinman. “They will perform for Pride Shabbat and, in return, we get to support the chorus as a nonprofit.”
Zinman said that Shabbat dinners, normally held Friday evenings among family to celebrate the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest, are usually not held at Rodeph Shalom. Special occasions are the exception.
This year’s dinner will follow an evening prayer service and offer a chance for any member of the public wanting to share their Pride to celebrate, said Zinman.
“Pride is a ritual that all LGBTQ+ folks can participate in and this was a great opportunity, not only for the LGBTQ congregants, but also for our allies at Rodeph Shalom,” said Zinman.
This year’s menu features chicken and fish, quinoa and green salad, a selection of fresh fruit and, for dessert, “fabulous rainbow cupcakes.”
Both RS and PGMC will participate in Pride in other facets. Prism will march in the Pride Parade on June 10 and PGMC has singing gigs booked at City Hall to kick off the parade and at the Philadelphia Phillies’ LGBT night, later this month, where they’ll perform the National Anthem.
Pride Shabbat Dinner will be held June 8 7:30-9 p.m. at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St. Tickets are $35 and available at https://rodephshalom.org/pride-shabbat-dinner-2018.