Author Jeff Bender, and Rabbi Dahlia Bernstein and Caity Weida of the JCCMW

The JCC Mid-Westchester Pride Celebration

The JCC Mid-Westchester (JCCMW) celebrated Pride with the community on Sunday, June 9, with a colorful, family-friendly afternoon of unity and togetherness. Attendees braided rainbow challah, designed special crafts, created a Kindness Board, and enjoyed music, games, activities, and rainbow refreshments. The event, a partnership between the JCCMW, Keshet, WJCS Center Lane, and Verve, was free and open to all. 

Rakhel Silverman-Gitin from Keshet led a thoughtful discussion with author Jeff Bender about his book Apparel Has No Gender. Jeff opened up about his family’s experiences with honesty and compassion, detailing the struggles and joys of par¬ent¬ing two gen¬der-flu¬id chil¬dren. Along with his own story, Jeff shared the viewpoints of other parents, grandparents, and even his own wife.

Jeff founded Lion + Owl, a full-scale children’s apparel company with an unwavering mission to help children feel confident and comfortable in what they wear. Lion + Owl represents fun, strength, and confidence; with positive “kid-first” insights forming the brand’s core.

Rakhel Silverman-Gitin is the New York education and training manager for Keshet. Keshet works for the full equality of all LGBTQ Jews and families in Jewish life. They equip Jewish organizations with the skills and knowledge to build LGBTQ-affirming communities; create spaces in which all queer Jewish youth feel seen and valued; and advance LGBTQ rights nationwide.

The JCC Mid-Westchester is a nonprofit organization that supports the community by offering outstanding recreational, cultural, educational, and human services programming to all people regardless of age, background, religion, gender identification, or sexual orientation. Programs are grounded in Jewish values and are open to all! The JCCMW enriches families, connects friends, strengthens community, and helps people lead joyful lives. 

Visit to learn more about the JCCMW.