David Taffet led a large contingent of counter demonstrators who stood in support of the Museum during the hate picket on July 9, 2010. The Museum is grateful to Taffet and all of the supporters from the Dallas Voice, Beth El B’nai and the Resource Center Dallas who continue to stand up against intolerance.
Name: David Taffet
About me: I am a Staff Writer for the Dallas Voice and active member of Congregation Beth El Binah and volunteer with Resource Center Dallas.
Three words people use to describe me: Opinionated, loyal, stubborn.
I get inspiration from: So many of my friends who I lost to AIDS and those living with HIV.
One thing I learned during my visit to the Dallas Holocaust Museum: How much people don’t know about the Holocaust and how important it is to keep telling the story of the Holocaust.
What being an UPSTANDER means to me: Standing up to discri-mination and bigotry and never being intimidated by people who hate.
My three favorite UPSTANDERS in history: Harvey Milk, Coretta Scott King, Golda Meir.
My proudest UPSTANDER moment: In 1993, after the March on Washington for LGBT Rights, an American Airlines pilot sent a memo from a plane returning to Dallas that he wanted “a complete change of pillows and blankets due to gay rights activists on board.” We used the incident to press American Airlines for changes, and within six months they became the safest airline for someone with HIV to fly with the best AIDS training for in-flight and airport ground crews.
If I could change one thing about the world it would be: Tolerance.
About Congregation Beth El Binah and Resource Center Dallas:
Congregation Beth El Binah was founded more than 20 years ago as a gay and lesbian Jewish group. When most Dallas synagogues would not grant gay or lesbian couples family memberships, Beth El Binah did, and in 1993, the temple joined the Union for Reform Judaism.
Resource Center Dallas operates the Gay and Lesbian Community Center and the AIDS Resource Center. The Resource Center operates the Nelson Tebedo Clinic, the AIDS Food Pantry and a variety of programs for persons living with HIV.
Beth El Binah has always had a close relationship with the Resource Center. So when Fred Phelps targeted Congregation Beth El Binah, they teamed up to make what could have been a very unpleasant experience into a day of tolerance. And raised a lot of money while doing it!
More than 300 people from the Jewish and LGBT community gathered outside the Resource Center before Beth El Binah’s Shabbat services on July 9. Together, we raised $11,000 in a fundraiser called “When Hell Freezes Over.” The money was to replace an ice maker used for a daily hot meals program for persons living with AIDS. Enough money was raised to fix the food pantry van and for several other needed maintenance projects at the Center and Clinic as well.