The Jewish Organization Equality Index Launches!

A new report on LGBT inclusion in the Jewish community was just released and it’s already making waves. The Jewish Organization Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign is the first-ever index of inclusive policies and practices in a faith-based community and nonprofit sector. (The report is modeled on HRC’s groundbreaking indices in the corporate and healthcare sectors and it was Initiated by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, together with The Morningstar Foundation, Stuart Kurlander and an anonymous donor

The Index creates a snapshot of how Jewish organizations — from big nonprofits to local groups and synagogues — address inclusion of LGBT members, clients, employees and volunteers.

The report looked at three areas:

  1. Organizational Inclusion Efforts: Actions and programs that encourage contributions from the LGBT community and foster diversity and an inclusive environment within the workplace.
  2. Community/Client Engagement: Programs specifically for LGBT members and clients, including programs and facilities designed for youth and the elderly.
  3. Workplace Policies: Policies and programs in place that support LGBT employees of the organization.

So, how are we doing as a Jewish community?

The good news:

  • 50% of the organizations achieved the top score of “Inclusion.”
  • 66% of organizations actively reach out to the LGBT community to attract members or clients.
  • This is a bit of a mixed bag, but encouraging. 65% of the organizations with a non-discrimination policy include “sexual orientation” in their policy. Only 30% of those also include “gender identity or expression.”

But, not surprisingly, the report revealed that there is a lot more work to be done.

  • Only 33% of the organizations that serve youth have an anti-bullying policy.
  • 59% of participating organizations have not completed diversity or inclusion training.
  • 51% do not provide LGBT-specific programming.
  • 79% have not specifically targeted LGBT individuals in employee recruitment efforts in the past three years.

Check out the #JLGBT page where you can download the report, grab some infographics, and find lots of ways to get involved (both on- and off-line). You can also follow the discussion on Twitter using #jlgbt.


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