Why I Support Trans Students

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.

Posted on March 7, 2017

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The Tachlis of Inclusion: Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York

Last year the congregation had a graphic artist come in while we did a brainstorming session with our teens about Inclusion. She drew as the teens spoke and this is what was produced.

Last year the congregation had a graphic artist come in for a teen brainstorming session about Inclusion. She drew as the teens spoke and this is what was produced.


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.

Posted on February 16, 2017

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Jews United for Justice: D.C.’s Paid Leave Bill

"Joanna, center in the paid leave shirt, with fellow JUFJ leaders of the paid leave campaign canvassing at a family health festival over the summer."

Campaign Manager Joanna Blotner, center in the paid leave shirt, with fellow JUFJ leaders of the paid leave campaign canvassing at a family health festival over the summer.


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.

Posted on February 6, 2017

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An Interview with Ilana Kaufman, Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay JCRC

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. 

Posted on February 1, 2017

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