By Hannah Clay Wareham
Boston-based group Keshet announced June 18 that it will merge with Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity to create the nation’s largest organization working for LGBT inclusion in the Jewish community.
“Our organizations share a vision of a Jewish community that lives up to its high est values, and with our complementary skills and methodologies, together we can get there,” said Idit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet.
The new Keshet plans to use Jewish values and learning to serve the transformation of the entire Jewish community. Jewish Mosaic Advisory Board Chair Shawn Landres paraphrased Rev. Dr. Marcin Luther King, Jr., saying, “[T]he destiny and freedom of all Jews is bound up in the destiny and freedom of LGBT Jews; the dignity of one is the dignity of all.”
Both Keshet and Jewish Mosaic (based in Denver and San Francisco) have been lauded as among the “most creative and ef fective Jewish organizations” in the country by Slingihot: A Resource for Jewish Innovation.
Together, the organizations are also working with Nehirim, another LGBT Jewish non profit, on a major convening of America’s LGBT Jewish leaders.
“By joining forces, we become a st.conger voice for inclusive communities than we could ever be working alone,” said Gregg Drinkwater, Executive Director of Jewish Mosaic.
The combined organization will keep the name Keshet pending a strategic review. Klein will remain Executive Director and Drinkwater will become Deputy Director, as well as supervisor of the Research and Publications Department.
“We are proud to support the merger of Keshet and Jewish Mosaic,” Lisa Eisen, National Director of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, said. “By joining forces, these two leading LGBT Jewish organizations will create a more effective and efficient structure, enabling them co continue expanding their reach and impact. We see in the new Keshet a force capable of sparking a unified Jewish LGBT movement and fostering a more welcoming, diverse, and inclusive Jewish community.”
– Hannah Clay Wareham