Welcome to #JLGBT, our virtual headquarters for raising awareness about the importance of creating a fully inclusive Jewish community and providing tools for action. Here you will find facts and figures, Tweets and Twibbons, photos, graphics, sample policies, pledges and more.
Join us in sharing these resources! Our goal is to get them into the hands of people who can drive change within the organizations they belong to and support. Can we get more organizations to prioritize inclusion? Can we raise the bar of inclusion in the faith-based world?
Yes, we can—but not without you. As you consider the role you might play, think of someone in your life who has struggled, or continues to struggle, to find a community that is welcoming and supportive. Take action in honor of that person!
News and Updates
10 Resources for Your Jewish Community to Observe Transgender Day of Remembrance
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that memorializes trans individuals who have died because of anti-transgender discrimination and victimization. It occurs annually on and around November 20 each year. We invite you to explore, learn, and participate with your Jewish community this year. Here are some resources to get you started:
- Download a guide with prayers, readings, and text studies for you to add to a service or create your own.
- Watch this series of videos about transgender Jews and trans allies.
- Read this powerful first-person essay in which a formerly Orthodox person shares his path to finding himself as a trans Jew.
- Read “Why I Care About Trans Day of Remembrance as a (“Cisgender”) Gay Man.”
- Read a d’var Torah by Yeshiva University professor and poet Joy Ladin, retelling the biblical stories of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac through the lens of their gender and life transitions.
- Download a brochure with concrete steps that Jewish communities can take to be more inclusive of their transgender members.
2012 Jewish Organization Equality Index
The Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI) is the Human Rights Campaign first-ever index of inclusion within a faith-based community. It is modeled after HRC’s groundbreaking Corporate Equality Index and provides benchmarks for gauging, and resources for improving, LGBT inclusivity policies and practices of North American Jewish communal organizations.
5 THINGS TO KNOW
5 Steps You Can Take Now
Sign the Anti-Bullying Pledge
“Do Not Stand Idly By: A Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives” is the first campaign in the Jewish community to draw attention to homophobic and transphobic bullying. More than 11,000 individuals and 1,000 Jewish organizations have signed on.
Attend a Training
Looking for ways to make your Jewish institution safe and inclusive for LGBT Jews but don’t know where to start? Keshet offers both individualized workshops and programs for organizations as well as its signature Keshet Training Institute, a two-and-half-day train-the-trainer program. Workshops are tailored to meet the specific needs of the community or organization hosting the training.
Explore the Equality Guide
Are you looking for a rabbi to perform a wedding for an LGBT couple? A day school committed to inclusion? A synagogue where LGBT Jews and their families will feel welcome? The Equality Guide is simple way for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Jews and their loved ones to find inclusive Jewish clergy and institutions and learn about their policies and practices.
Adopt Statements of Inclusion
Written non-discrimination policies and benefits form the foundation of diversity and inclusion efforts. Do the organizations you belong to, work for and/or support have a policy in place that specifically mentions sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression? Here are some sample Statements of Inclusion you can adapt, adopt and share.
- Adat Shalom: Statement of Principles
- Congregation Beit Tikvah: This is Not Your Grandfather’s Shul
- Kol Halev: Policy on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Members
- Park Slope Jewish Center: Mission Statement
- Temple Beth Am: Welcoming Statement
- Temple Beth El: Welcoming Resolution
- Temple Sinai, Atlanta: Statement of Inclusivity
- Model Policy for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students
Rabbis for Human Rights Non Discrimination Policy: Rabbis for Human Rights-North American is an equal opportunity employer. RHR-NA does not discriminate or permit discrimination against, or provide special treatment for, any person or group of persons on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, physical disability, or any other category protected by law, particularly those related to EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification.
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (Washington, D.C.): The Jewish Federation welcomes the participation of interfaith couples and families, and people of all abilities, backgrounds and sexual orientations.
The Community Synagogue (Port Washington, NY): Our diverse community welcomes Jews of all backgrounds including interfaith families, singles, seniors, couples, single-parent and same sex families and Jews-by-Choice. Within our warm and inviting surroundings, The Community Synagogue encourages meaningful participation and creates a special sense of belonging.”
Mayyim Hayyim: Living Waters Community Mikveh and Paula Brody & Family Education Center (Newton, MA): Mayyim Hayyim strives to be inclusive of all who wish to learn and/or immerse, regardless of sexual orientation, physical/developmental ability, or background.
Raise your virtual voice and call your friends and networks to action by sharing the Jewish Organization Equality Index and these awesome resources and graphics wherever you live online. Remember to use the hashtag #jlgbt!
Additional #JLGBT Resources
Keshet is a national organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews in Jewish life, with headquarters in Boston and local offices in Denver, Colorado and the San Francisco Bay Area. Led and supported by LGBT Jews and straight allies, Keshet cultivates the spirit and practice of inclusion in all parts of the Jewish community – synagogues, Hebrew schools, day schools, youth movements, summer camps, social service organizations and other communal agencies.
Nationwide, Keshet offers training, consultation and educational resources with a focus on institutions that serve youth and young adults. Keshet’s signature train-the-trainer institutes give educators and community leaders the skills and tools they need to train their peers in fostering safe, inclusive classrooms, youth groups, summer camps and more. In Massachusetts, Colorado and the San Francisco Bay Area, Keshet also offers social and cultural programs for LGBT Jews, family, friends and allies.
Hebrew Union College Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (HUC-IJSO)
Located in Los Angeles, CA, this organization’s mission is to prepare Jewish leaders to include every Jew in their congregations and communities. They have a list of events that they are hosting on their website, such as lectures on the intersection of Judaism and LGBT issues. Their website also includes the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center, with a large collection of articles, texts and websites about LGBT topics.
The Rainbow Center
Jewish Family and Career Services
The Rainbow Center in Atlanta, GA, provides resources for LGBT Jews of all ages and religious preferences, including education, training, youth services and suicide prevention. They refer people to the LGBT-friendly counseling services, agencies and clubs that can meet their needs. Their “Ask a Rabbi” feature of the website allows anybody to ask questions anonymously about being LGBT and Jewish.
Nehirim is a national community of LGBT Jews and their allies, which offers programs and services to promote a more inclusive Jewish community. Their programs include retreats and speakers, and their resources include articles related to LGBT Jews and information for college students. Their retreats are varied and combine LGBT programs and Jewish information.
This organization provides a support network for LGBT Jews of traditional Jewish communities. They host Shabbat retreats, run educational initiatives such as speaker training and maintain a large resource database for LGBT issues in the Orthodox community.
TransTorah helps Jewish communities and congregations become fully inclusive for Jews of all genders. They have resources on inclusive rituals and liturgy, as well as educational resources for transgender-inclusive readings of the Torah. They also have sermons and Divrei Torot (Torah commentaries) available online that use Jewish texts to support transgender and genderqueer inclusion. Their educational material is meant for all audiences and covers issues such “Trans Etiquette/Respect/Support 101” and others that are meant as study guides for those looking into the issue of Halacha (Jewish religious law) and gender diversity.
The World Congress of GLBT Jews
The World Congress of GLBT Jews is an international organization that hosts conferences and workshops around the world that address LGBT issues in the Jewish community. They also support over 50 organizations around the world that serve LGBT Jews and aim to foster a sense of community among LGBT Jews worldwide.
Jewish Queer Youth
This is a resource for LGBT Jews from traditional Conservative, Orthodox, Hasidic and Ultra-Orthodox backgrounds between the ages of 17 and 30. The site provides support for young LGBT Jews regardless of current religious affiliation and situations. It is not affiliated with any outside group and is sensitive to any privacy concerns that its members might have, especially those who are still in Orthodox or Hasidic communities and who might not be out to their community. The organization hosts monthly meetings in the JCC in Manhattan.
A Wider Bridge
A Wider Bridge seeks to inspire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Jews to deepen their Jewish identity through connection with Israel and to develop stronger connections between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in Israel and North America.
2wice Blessed is a social movement dedicated to creating a supportive touchstone for LBGTQ Jews and the people who love them. It is also designed to serve as a catalyst for conversation, hub for information, and accessible resource for this community.
Major LGBT Synagogues
- Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York, NY
- Congregation Kol Ami, West Hollywood, CA
- Beth Chayim Chadashim, Los Angeles, CA
- Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco, CA
- Bet Mishpachah, Washington DC
- Congregation Bet Haverim, Atlanta, GA
- Congregation Or Chadash, Chicago IL
- Congregation Etz Chaim, Tamarac, FL
- Congregation Beth Ahavah, Philadelpha, PA
- Congregation Am Tikva, Boston, MA