A Jew. A Queer. But a Jewish Queer? Keshet Youth Shabbaton Reflection

I’ve never been one to have high expectations. I tend to take situations as they come and to be spontaneous in my decision making. That being said, I didn’t have any idea what I was in for as I stepped out of van and onto the cold snowy ground of the Isabella Friedman Jewish Retreat […]

A Crash Course in Being a Professional Ally to LGBTQ Youth

“I have friends I can be Jewish with, and friends I can be queer with, but I’ve never had a space to be both Jewish and queer.” – Shelby, 16  “I feel really isolated at my high school… it’s good to come to a place like this and finally feel like I’m part of a […]

Back to School: Guides for Creating Safe Space for LGBT Jewish Youth

It’s September and students across the country have headed back to school for a new year. But are they heading back into safe and inclusive spaces? Our friends at The Aleph Project at Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) created two great resources for Jewish schools and settings. National Coming Out Day: Planning Manual […]

Welcoming LGBTQ Jews and Their Loved Ones into the Mishkan

Today we are sharing Joanna Ware’s Keynote speech from Kindness Counts: Welcoming LGBTQ Jews and Their Loved Ones into the Mishkan, a conference hosted by Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park, PA. This post is a little longer than our usual blog posts, but we think it is worth the read.  Today, I’m going to […]

This Thanksgiving I’m Thankful for…

With Thanksgiving only a day away, I’m anticipating that moment during dinner—or perhaps during halftime—when we pause to share what we’re thankful for. This year, while I celebrate all there is to be thankful for, I am still aware of the work that is left to be done. I am optimistic about the future, and ready to […]

Being Thankful: Communities & Identities

In my mind, Thanksgiving has a deeper connection with Judaism than with turkey or cranberry sauce. Since eighth grade, I haven’t been home for a Thanksgiving dinner. In the Emtza region of United Synagogue Youth (USY), which encompasses the chunk of the Midwest that’s west of Chicago, we hold our largest convention of the year […]

How To Hire a Trans Rabbi

Creating inclusive Jewish spaces is a great goal—but how do you do it? While the answer is likely different for every synagogue, school, and youth group, it’s helpful and encouraging to hear about others’ successes, triumphs, and their lessons learned. Take a look at this story of Tachlis of Inclusion, which we hope you find inspiring as we prepare […]

Transgender 101

The work of transgender inclusion in the Jewish community requires proactive action. Some of the steps we can take to welcome the trans people inside—and on the margins—of our communities are straightforward. But sometimes, well-meaning allies stumble, get confused, feel unsure, and run into snags in the tachlis (details) of being welcoming and inclusive, because we are human and […]

Simchat Torah: Rejoice in Resources

With Simchat Torah around the corner, we’re thinking about the resources the Jewish community needs to be more inclusive, welcoming, and a safer environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning individuals and families. A special thanks to Keshet educator Suzie Schwartz Jacobson for helping to compile these resources! Make sure your library has current LGBT books and […]