A Fully Inclusive Jewish Summer Camp

March 20, 2012

By Guest Contributor

Human Rights Campaign: Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights

Image of the HRC Header bar, with the text "Backstory Blog" in white over a picture of people looking at signs.

This guest post comes from Stefan Teodosic, Executive Director of B’nai B’rith Beber Camp:

As the Executive Director of Beber Camp, I am proud to help drive Jewish continuity. At Beber, the development of life skills along with the lifelong friendships that our campers attain should occur within an inclusive environment. It is my belief that the best way to do this is though creating the most safe, inclusive community possible. With our commitment to this mission and with recent conversations with our constituents we realized that a change was needed. We needed to bring a level of intentionality to LGBT inclusivity in our community and not just be supportive when the issue arose. The decision was made on how to best approach was to create strong updated processes supported by well trained full and part time staff.

Image of the B'nai B'rith Beber Camp logo.

This year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Keshet LGBT inclusivity training for Jewish organizations; and it was a great learning tool about new programs for our staff and campers. Along with the training, this year we filled out the 2012 Jewish Organization Equality Index survey. Through the JOEI our organization was able to find out what gaps we needed to fill to reach our goal. These experiences were extremely positive, and through them we have indentified where we can become more inclusive in our organization. The process of creating new staff training modules is underway, and we are increasingly becoming more excited for the summer to start with our new inclusive programs. I would highly recommend both of these opportunities to all of my colleagues in the Jewish camping field and I am excited with my organization progressing towards total inclusivity.

http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/a-fully-inclusive-jewish- summer-camp