In our Jewish communities, everybody should feel like they belong.

LGBTQ+ individuals and our families are a sacred part of our Jewish communities. While many of our institutions consider themselves to be warm and welcoming, too many LGBTQ+ Jews still feel ignored, left out, or even discriminated against and overtly excluded.

We know that our communities are at their strongest when everyone can show up with joy and dignity. This is why we are proud to build on the nearly ten-year history of our signature Leadership Project for Institutional Change, and are re-launching the program as Shivyon: Keshet’s Equality Project as our signature program to drive organizational work for LGBTQ+ equality and belonging.

Through this year-long cohort-based project, Keshet will work with each participating organization to build or support an LGBTQ+ equality working group. Cohorts may consist of a group of institutions in a single geography or a national cohort of a certain type of institution (e.g. JCCs, day schools, or summer camps)..

We will support each working group to conduct an assessment of the current lay of the land for LGBTQ+ equality and belonging, offer a full day of learning for working group members, help them to craft an achievable and sustainable plan for action for the coming year, and connect them with other professional and lay working groups in similar organizations. We will coach each working group to successfully complete their customized action steps, talk through potential pitfalls and obstacles, and establish the tools for ongoing work once the year of coaching ends. 

 

The 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

If this may appeal to you, take a look for what a year of Shivyon would look like:

The year begins with a conversation with one of Keshet’s experienced coaches who will help you assemble a working group (if you do not have one already) and share our self-assessment materials with your team. We will formally kick off the Shivyon year with a full day of learning for our cohort of working groups, where you will learn tools for organizational change, gain best practices for LGBTQ+ equality work, and begin to draft your action plan. Throughout the coming year, your organization will participate in five coaching sessions with Keshet. The full cohort will reconvene for two webinars and a closing gathering. Each organization who completes the year with 80% or more progress on their action plan goals will be presented with a certificate of completion and a digital Shivyon badge for your website. 

Together, we can build Jewish communities where all LGBTQ+ Jews and our families can thrive. 

Apply Now!

Cohorts Currently Accepting Applications:

Don’t see a cohort for your organization? Contact Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael, Keshet’s Director of Education & Training, to find out how to bring Shivyon to your community.


Learn more:

 

Who is the Shivyon Project for?

The Shivyon 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. This project will work with your existing DEI task force or LGBTQ+ working group, or help you establish and support one.

What does the Project look like?

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:

Assessment

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 opening summit, a full day (or two half-days, if online) of experiential learning and action planning that is attended by a working group of 2-4 stakeholders, including at least one decision-maker, from each participating organization.

Learning

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, transphobia, and gender-based discrimination impact all people, contextualize this work within the broader diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) landscape, and workshop common scenarios.

Planning for Action

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 Shivyon Project offers.

Follow-Up and Coaching

Organizations will participate in 2 webinars and receive up to 5 coaching calls over the course of a year to help them carry out their action plans. Keshet coaches help working groups 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.   

What are the benefits of participating?

When your organization participates in the Shivyon Project, not only will you and your staff have a better understanding of LGBTQ+ issues as they relate to your community and beyond, 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.

What have past participants said about the Shivyon Project?

 

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

 

How much does it cost?

This Shivyon Project 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 view pricing and information for your cohort.

How do I bring a new cohort to my community?

Keshet is always looking for partner organizations to anchor Shivyon 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.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Hannah Henschel at [email protected] or Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael at [email protected].

 

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