On a Friday evening of February last year, Ruben Shimonov was waiting in his friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Everything was ready for the traditional Shabbat dinner to begin: The table was set, the food ready to be served. Now, it was time for the guests to come in.

What he had prepared was not an ordinary Shabbat dinner.Through a secret Facebook group, he and his friend Ramiz Rafailov had organized their first-ever Shabbat gathering for queer Jewish 20s and 30s with Sephardic and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) backgrounds in New York.

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