The Keshet Leadership Project is a multi-service program that gathers, trains, provides resources for, and supports Jewish institutions to become more inclusive of LGBT individuals and families.
We work with organizations along a continuum of inclusion, from those who are just beginning to acknowledge their need for improvement, to those who have deep and sustained initiatives in place and who strive to broaden their reach.
The Project kicks off with the Keshet Leadership Summit, a dynamic, experiential day-long program designed to build the capacity of individual leaders and the institutions they represent to create LGBT inclusive and affirming environments for all community members.
Keshet’s expert facilitators train participants to use concrete strategies and tools for inclusion. Participants leave with an action plan for their institution outlining how to implement the strategies and tools they have learned at the Leadership Summit, and each institution receives follow-up coaching and consultation over the course of the year to help with the implementation of these action plans.
Prior to the Keshet Leadership Summit, participants are asked to complete a guided institutional self-assessment, evaluating the current inclusiveness of their policies, programs, and organizational culture. This step allows leaders to determine their institution’s areas of strengths and areas for further growth in terms of LGBT inclusive practice, and prepares them to create informed and clear action plans during the Leadership Summit.
At the Leadership Summit, participants experience interactive exercises that help them connect issues of LGBT inclusion to their own story and values, identify key LGBT terminology, explore the ways that homophobia and gender-based discrimination impact young people and families, and role-play common scenarios that arise around LGBT inclusion. The Keshet Leadership Summit also includes an introduction to Keshet resources that grounds the work of LGBT inclusion in Jewish text and values.
Every participant and institutional team is coached to draft an action plan with concrete objectives and a timetable for implementing the programs and materials learned into the work of their home institution. These action plans are an essential part of the learning and skills-building that the Leadership Summit offers.
Following the Leadership Summit, participants receive specialized coaching over the course of a year to help them carry out their action plans. Institutions will also have the option to bring in Keshet staff to lead further training for other members of the institutional leadership, professional development for front line educators, and community-wide conversations about LGBT inclusion.
A MUST FOR ANYONE CONCERNED
“What Keshet has created is a must for anyone concerned about making each child feel safe to learn in all of our educational environments. This is not just about LGBT inclusivity – this is reframing the way we look at constructing educational spaces and should be mandatory for every teacher, educator, counselor and youth worker in the Jewish community.”
-Naomi Less, Co-creator, Addressing Evaded Issues in Jewish Education and Founder, Jewish Chicks Rock
Since 2008, Keshet has offered 12 Leadership Summits (formerly called Training Institutes) and currently there are more than 250 graduates of Keshet Training Institutes who are training and supporting their peers and colleagues in working for LGBT inclusion and equality in Jewish communities around the country.