Four Ways to Make your Jewish Institution Inclusive for LGBTQ Interfaith Families

The High Holidays – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – can be the most synagogue-centric of the Jewish calendar year. They’re also among the most-well attended, even by those who may not otherwise go to synagogue.

Many interfaith couples and families, along with adults raised in interfaith homes, don’t feel welcome in Jewish organizations. And since many LGBTQ Jews feel excluded from Jewish communal organizations, it’s a double challenge for Interfaith LGBTQ Jews. This might be one of the reasons LGBTQ Jews are more likely to interdate and intermarry than their straight peers. But it’s also a reason why our organizations must ensure that every member of the Jewish community is welcomed and included this holiday season – and all year long.

Here are four easy steps your organization can take right now.

1. Update your website.

  • State explicitly on your homepage that your community includes and welcomes both LGBTQ and interfaith families and looks forward to engaging them in all activities;

    Making Your Jewish Institution More LGBT Interfaith Inclusive

    Courtesy InterfaithFamily

  • Use photos that reflect your community’s diversity.

2. Create a Welcoming Policy Document.

  • Start the policy with a statement of inclusion;
  • Let interfaith LGBTQ families know what their membership status will be;
  • Let partners and spouses who are not Jewish know if there are restrictions for leadership positions.

3. Make your inclusion visible.

Posted on September 10, 2012

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