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 lessons learned. The “Tachlis of Inclusion” series is meant to spotlight practices and policies that have worked for Jewish institutions all over the country. We hope they inspire you.
For Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing the story of Beck and Shana, who’ve been together for five years.
The following are reflections from an Orthodox rabbi who was shunned by his community for standing up for LGBTQ rights.
The D.C. Council recently passed a historic paid family and medical leave bill, on which our friends at Jews United For Justice (JUFJ) have been leading the charge for two years. The bill will cover all workers in D.C.’s private sector, enabling them to take paid leave in order to take care of serious medical issues for themselves or family members. We interviewed campaign manager Joanna Blotner about the path to the passing of the bill, and how it’s designed to be inclusive of LGBTQ families.
Ilana Kaufman is a nationally recognized speaker, a Jewish community leader with twenty years of organizational development experience, and a published author of many articles, including, “What It’s Like to Be a Black, Gay, Professional Jew.” We interviewed her about her work for the Jewish Community Relations Council and how the Jewish community can more fully embrace its diversity.
“Raise game.” When I began rabbinical school, a friend of mine who was already ordained offered me these two words of wisdom when I asked for advice about how to handle the instantaneous increased authority that comes even from studying to be a rabbi. The point is clear: when more is expected, more must be delivered. Grow into the shoes you’re being given.
In 1990, when I was 12 years old, I moved to Durham, NC, a smallish Southern college town. The Durham Jewish community was quaint; two synagogues that shared the Hebrew high school I attended. I only remember there being five Jewish kids in my public high school, including the rabbi’s daughter. Most of the kids at my Hebrew high school went to the private schools across town.
Almost everyone I know is bone-weary or disillusioned or angry or ashamed or frightened or struggling. Paralyzed with stunned disbelief.