Keshet Board Member Joy Ladin Longtime Keshet donors Tamar & Arielle Prager
This post is part three of a longer series of posts in which members of the Keshet community write letters to their younger selves. Today’s letter is written by Keshet’s Education and Youth Program Associate, Dubbs Weinblatt.
Photo credit: Michal Cohen
Lives were changed last weekend. I know because not long ago I had the honor of attending a Shabbaton like the one Keshet held last weekend, a weekend retreat where LGBTQ teens and allies could explore living simultaneously as Jewish and queer. On paper, it looks like a typical youth group weekend, but most attendees describe it as life-changing. They snack, dance, make new friends, flirt and play; they also discuss scriptural texts with an intellectual rigor and energy that would make any Confirmation Program Director envious.
On March 1st, Keshet launched Kavod Achshav | For the Sake of Dignity: A Campaign for Trans Youth to mobilize the Jewish community in support of trans youth, in response to the recent federal roll-back of protections for transgender students in public schools. Joy Ladin’s piece, below, underlines the urgency of taking action today to support trans students.
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.