Keshet has again been named as one of America’s top innovative Jewish organizations.
Selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 112 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life, the Guide said, “Undeterred by the enormity of the challenge, Keshet continues to innovate and find new ways of building a Jewish community that honors full inclusion of LGBT Jews.”
Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot, which publishes the Guide each year, stated “Slingshot is all about inspiring Jews to get involved in the Jewish community. After ten years the book remains relevant because it is a megaphone for exciting and meaningful projects….This tenth year of the Guide year was more competitive than every year before, and the final product features the largest number of projects doing the widest variety of work.”
The organizations included in the Guide are driving the future of Jewish life and engagement by motivating new audiences to participate in their work and responding to the needs of individuals and communities – both within and beyond the Jewish community – as never before.
The Slingshot Guide, now in its tenth year, was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios to include the most innovative and effective organizations, programs and projects in North America. The Guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character. The Slingshot Guide has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America’s Jewish community – and how nonprofits are meeting new needs and reaching new audiences. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at www.slingshotfund.org.
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“ Undeterred by the enormity of the challenge, Keshet continues to innovate and find new ways of building a Jewish community that honors full inclusion of LGBT Jews.
The Jewish community increases in strength by welcoming and including every Jew. Since Keshet’s founding in 1996, the organization has worked to ensure that all Jewish organizations become stronger by implementing policies and programming that embrace lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews. Keshet has already moved mountains, creating online resources for LGBT Jews, training the leaders of synagogues and community organizations on inclusive practices, and building a network of LGBT parent activists, among other accomplishments. Yet homophobic bullying and gender policing still exists, and parts of the Jewish community have not moved beyond merely tolerating LGBT presence into full inclusion.
In response, Keshet continues to develop relevant programs that address the areas of LGBT need, including training and supporting Jewish educators and community leaders, providing the community with resources such as The Purim Superhero, the first Jewish children’s book with LGBT characters, and building community for LGBT Jews via an array of social, cultural, and educational events. In 2014, Keshet’s work has impacted the lives of 10,000 youth by training professionals to address homophobia and gender stereotypes, and the organization has also provided leaders of 45 Jewish institutions with tools that help make their organizations more inclusive, influencing 22,500 organizational members across North America. Through its innovative efforts, Keshet continues to lead the expansion of LGBT inclusion in Jewish life.”