Happy Pride Month! We’ve come a long way since President Clinton first declared June to be Gay and Lesbian Pride Month back in 1999, in remembrance of the Stonewall Riots. Since then, we’ve gotten gay marriage and lots more queer representation in popular culture... But we’ve also gotten book bans and attacks on parents of trans kids… So, we’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us.
As Jews, we have a lot of amazing and history-making queer Jews to celebrate this month. Since we are a Jewish parenting website, we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate Jewish queer parents who are #ParentingGoals (me using this term should show you how old I was when Pride Month first became a thing).
While Pride Month isn’t celebrated in June internationally, it is also celebrated in Israel on the same month, with pride marches taking place all over the country — in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. So this list includes both incredible American and Israeli parents we want to celebrate, this month and every month. Plus, it’s an excuse to share a lot of adorable baby pictures.
1. Andy Cohen
“Real Housewifes” executive producer and “Watch What Happens Live!” host Andy Cohen has two children, Ben Cohen and Lucy Cohen, and judging by his… everything, really, he loves being a dad. He dresses them in the best outfits, shares his story time routines and book reviews on IG stories and just generally gives us a lot of delicious photos of his excellent Jewish baby and toddler.
Cohen, who welcomed his second daughter recently (he consulted his rabbi about her name), has been outspoken about how much his surrogate means to him. He’s also impossibly cute with his Jewish mom, Evelyn, from whom Lucy got her second name.
2. Judy Gold
The hilarious Jewish stand up comedian (and former Kveller podcast guest) is a mom of two boys — Ben and Henry. Ben is a bit of a college basketball star, and like a good Jewish mom, Gold loves to kvell about him on Twitter. Ben recently got lauded by another famous Ben — Ben Stiller, who celebrated a fellow #TallJew.
Gold jokes about motherhood and Judaism a lot, and we love her for it. She’s also had stints in some of our favorite shows, including “Life & Beth,” “Better Things,” Search Party” and Showtime’s recent anthology drama, “The First Lady.”
3. Sarit Hadad
Sarit Hadad is maybe the biggest Mizrahi music star of all time. Her career and her many, many bops date back to the mid-1990s. Yet she has always been incredibly closed off when it came to her personal life. She did welcome two daughters — by herself. Last year, Hadad decided to come out in the most beautiful way, with an affirming love song called “A Love Like Ours,” in which she revealed her current partner, musician Tamar Yahalomy.
4. Ezra Furman
Last year, musician Ezra Furman announced to the world that she was a Jewish mom. The 35-year-old, whose beautiful songs grace the soundtrack of Netflix’s “Sex Education,” explained that they came out as both a trans woman and a mom of over two years because “one problem with being trans is that we have so few visions of what it can look like to have an adult life, to grow up and be happy and not die young. When our baby was born, I had approximately zero examples that I had seen of trans women raising children.”
“I never dreamed it was possible to be happy and self-realized and trans and uncloseted, and also become a parent,” the rabbinical student wrote, “But it is and I am doing it. Because trans people deserve to pursue the lives we want, on our terms.” Amen, amen, a thousand times.
5. Nate Berkus
Jewish interior designer Nate Berkus has two children with husband Jeramiah Brent. These two won our hearts in TLC’s “Nate & Jeremiah by Design,” which ran between 2017 and 2019. They got married in 2014, and had their daughter, Poppy in 2015, and son, Oskar, in 2018. Oskar was named after Berkus’ late partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, who died in Sri Lanka in a tsunami in 2004 — Oskar was his middle name.
6. Jared Polis and Marlon Reis
The first gay governor of Colorado and his lovely first gentleman got married during the pandemic in a beautiful, intimate outdoor Jewish ceremony under a gorgeous chuppah.
The wedding, which took place on the 18th (chai!) anniversary of their first day, came after a tumultuous time for the couple when they both got Covid — Polis even had to be hospitalized with the virus.
Reis and Polis have a son and a daughter: Caspian Julius and Cora Barucha. Cora is named after Polis’ great-great-aunt, Kasha Barucha.
7. Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood is an inspiration. The brave Jewish mom of one starred in and produced the absolutely shattering documentary “Phoenix Rising,” detailing how she was abused by Marylin Manson as a teen — including the antisemitic aspects of the abuse. She’s also spoken on behalf of abuse survivors like her to congress.
Wood is also proudly bisexual, and says that when she spoke to her son about how he would feel if she dated a woman “he was like, ‘I think that would be amazing. That would be so cool!’”
8. Orna Banai
Comedian Orna Banai is part of the Banai family, a great Israeli cultural legacy that includes the nation’s most prolific musicians. Banai, originally a stand-up comic, first rose to fame in the Israeli satire show “Rak BeIsrael,” where she played the funny and quirky co-host of the show, Limor. Since then, she’s starred in countless shows, movies and plays, including “Imale” — which means “mommy” — a show based on her own experiences with parenthood.
Banai’s first pregnancy was the unintended result of an affair she had with a famous Israeli journalist. She had her son, Amir, in 2003, and later adopted a daughter, Mika. Banai is fairly private about her kids, but she’s not private about her politics: She’s a strong advocate for women’s and animal rights.
9. Dan Bucatinsky
We all loved Dan Bucatinsky in — well, basically everything we’ve seen him in, from “Web Therapy” to “Scandal” to the recent American remake of the Israeli hit “Baker and the Beauty.” He is also the producer of NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are,” a show that brings us so many great historical tidbits about our favorite celebrities.
Bucatinsky, the son of Argentinian Jews, has two teens — a son and daughter — with husband screenwriter Don Roos. He wrote all about their journey to fatherhood in his funny autobiography “Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?”
10. Harel Skaat
Harel Skaat is an Israeli reality star and a man of very good cheekbones and a beautiful singing voice. Skat, whose family is Yemenite and Iraqi, first became famous when he starred in the musical reality competition “A Star Is Born,” where he was the runner up to winner Harel Moyal.
Skat came out in a TV special in 2010 and is currently married to Idan Roll, a former model and the current deputy foreign minister. The two have two kids, a daughter and a son, whom they had through a surrogate in the U.S. The got married in Utah in 2021:
Skaat’s latest single, “Baruch Haba La’Balagan” — “welcome to the mess” — is kind of the perfect soundtrack to the dissolution of the Israeli government, and that fact has been brought to the singer’s attention. Here it is juxtaposed with some news clips:
11. Asi Levi
Israeli actress and singer Asi Levi is an absolute marvel. The longtime actress was most recently in the Israeli show “Black Space,” which is currently streaming on Netflix. She starred in “Harem,” an Israeli show based on the story of a famous religious cult leader, and of course in the original Israeli “In Treatment” — “BeTipul.” But perhaps one of my favorite roles of hers is in the award-winning 2006 movie “Aviva, My Love.”
Levi is also a talented musician and the mother of two daughters — Leehee and Zoe. She shares adorable videos and pictures of her with her daughters on Instagram. Here’s one of her and Zoe lip-synching together:
Levi came out in 2012, when she opened up about her relationship with dancer Tamar Shelef.
12. Yehudit Ravitz
Why are all the best Israeli musicians queer? Yehudit Ravitz is another Israeli music icon who is widely considered one of the most celebrated Israeli musicians of all times, with a career spanning over 40 years and ranging over many musical disciplines — from jazz to rock to children’s music. And yes, she is a lesbian and a mom. Ravitz adopted daughter Ella in 1998; she recently shared this adorable vintage video of the two of them together at the beach on Instagram.
13. Ivri Lider
Ivri Lide is a gay Israeli musical legend. His long and storied career includes a gender-bent cover of a famous Rita song for the soundtrack of history-making gay Israeli movie “Yossi and Jagger.” He has also written many, many songs about queer life, from heartfelt ballads to bops with electronic duo TYP.
Lider became a father in 2019 via surrogacy in the U.S. but he has been outspoken about surrogacy and adoption rights for queer couples in Israel. He co-parents his son, Albi, with his partner Jonathan, a Jewish Swedish expat and the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, in Tel Aviv — they’re truly a beautiful family.
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