Idit Klein has been an activist for equality and social justice for the past 20 years. Since 2001, she has served as executive director of Keshet. During this time, Klein has built Keshet from a one-person, local organization with an annual budget of $42,000 to an 18-person, national organization with an annual budget of $2 million. Under her leadership, Keshet developed a comprehensive training curriculum for LGBT inclusion and trained educators in hundreds of Jewish communities around the country. In Massachusetts, Klein helped mobilize Massachusetts rabbis and synagogue members to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Klein also served as executive producer of Keshet’s award-winning documentary film “Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School.”
Prior to leading Keshet, Klein was an activist in the LGBT community in Israel and played a role in early organizing efforts to create Jerusalem Open House. She has worked for social justice organizations in Jerusalem and in Boston, including Shatil, the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (now known as Israel-Palestine: Creative Regional Initiatives) and Community Work Services. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, Klein received a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a focus on social justice and anti-oppression education. She is also a certified facilitator of the Center for Leadership Initiatives.
Klein was among eight recipients of the 2003-2005 Joshua Venture Fellowship for young Jewish social entrepreneurs, and was a plenary speaker at the 2007 Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly. A board member of JOIN for Justice and a past fellow, Klein was honored by the Jewish Women’s Archive with a Women Who Dared award, and named to the Forward 50.