Adas Israel hosts interfaith memorial service

Adas Israel Congregation organized an interfaith service to mourn the loss of 49 people in the terror attack at Pulse gay club in Orlando.

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One wouldn’t typically imagine religious leaders from a conservative local synagogue extolling a gay dance club as a “sanctuary” or “safe space,” yet that’s just what happened Thursday night at an interfaith service hosted by the Adas Israel Congregation.

The event, organized by the synagogue, included six speakers from Muslim and Jewish organizations, many of whom are LGBT. They offered meditations, prayers and calls for solidarity in the wake of last weekend’s attack that killed 49 and wounded more than 50 in Orlando, Fla.

The service began with a prayer from the congregation’s out Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf. In 2014, Steinlauf shocked his congregation when he announced that he and his wife of 20 years, Batya Steinlauf, were getting divorced because Rabbi Steinlauf had come to understand that he was gay.

With more than 70 people sitting in the pews, Steinlauf, who has been open about his struggle coming to terms with his own homosexuality, led the congregation in prayer.

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