In our Jewish communities, everybody should feel like they belong.
LGBTQ individuals, partners, and families are an important and sacred part of our Jewish communities. We deserve to gather, to pray, to act, and to simply exist as ourselves in our organizations, our synagogues, community centers, and our institutions as a whole. And while so many of our institutions consider themselves to be warm and welcoming, many LGBTQ Jews find themselves unintentionally ignored, left out, or even directly discriminated against.
We love our communities and we know that our communities are at their strongest when everyone can show up with joy and dignity. This is why we’ve launched the Keshet Leadership Project: a year-long cohort-based program that gathers, trains, and supports Jewish organizations to move towards LGBTQ equality and belonging.
The Leadership Project is designed for organizations that are committed to LGBTQ inclusion and belonging and can dedicate substantial staff time and resources to a year of action planning and institutional change.
In over a decade of training and supporting Jewish institutions, Keshet has found that lasting change takes place in 4 phases, each of which is critical for achieving impact:
All participants will complete an institutional self-assessment that evaluates their current policies, programs, and organizational culture. This step allows leaders to determine their institution’s areas of strengths and areas for further growth, and prepares them to create informed and clear action plans.
These action plans will be shared and discussed during the kickoff Keshet Leadership Summit, a full day (two half-days, if online) of experiential learning and action planning that is attended by 2-4 stakeholders, including at least one decision-maker, from each participating organization.
At the Summit, participants will engage in deep learning to connect LGBTQ belonging to their own story and values, identify key LGBTQ terminology and concepts, explore the ways that homophobia and gender-based discrimination impact all people, contextualize this work within the broader diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) landscape, and workshop common scenarios.
With the support of Keshet staff, each organization will draft a customized action plan with concrete objectives and a timetable for implementation. These action plans are an essential part of the learning and skill-building that the Leadership Summit offers.
Organizations will receive up to 5 coaching calls over the course of a year to help them carry out their action plans. Keshet coaches help fine-tune their plans, identify resources and strategies for carrying them out, and provide ongoing support for the work of LGBTQ equality within their institutions.
The year concludes with a closing gathering, during which participants will share their learnings and successes and identify resources for ongoing learning.
When your organization participates in the Leadership Project, not only will you and your staff have a better understanding of LGBTQ issues as they relate to – and outside of – your community, you will also have concrete action plans to make your organization as dynamically and radically inclusive as possible. Your organization will have taken the first few important steps in being a place of true equality and belonging for everyone who is and wants to be a part of it.
The Leadership Project was inspiring, well led, and interactive. Most importantly, it gave us things that we could really do – the action plans felt truly customized to us and achievable! Now, people at all levels of the congregation are voicing the understanding that everyone who comes in feels affirmed.
—President of a congregation
Our staff has experienced various forms of DEI training, but it was not until we began to audit our school community with the tools provided by Keshet that we were able to identify actionable steps…From the moment we first engaged with Keshet this year, we sensed a true partnership and understanding of how complex these decisions and changes can be.
We really enjoy the new relationships we have formed with the Keshet staff and connecting with other schools across the country who are engaging in similar work. It’s really exciting to think of what’s possible knowing we have the support of Keshet by our side.
—Leader at a Midwestern day school
This program is priced on a sliding scale, with a commitment to being financially accessible to a wide range of organizations. Additional subsidies may be available. Please visit our application page and select your cohort from the drop-down menu to see pricing for that cohort.
We are currently accepting applications for the South Florida Leadership Project and the Young-Adult Serving Organizations Leadership Project. Learn more and apply here! Coming soon: Denver! Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Keshet is always looking for partner organizations to anchor Leadership Project cohorts. We work with local communities to bring this program to their city or region, as well as with national organizations to bring online cohorts to their area of practice.