Jewish tradition teaches us to treat every single person with respect and dignity.

Increasingly, laws are being proposed that hurt trans and LGBQ+ young people and our families. Keshet and SOJOURN are bringing together Jewish organizations to send a clear message: we must love, protect, and fight for trans and LGBQ+ youth and all LGBTQ+ people.
Taking action for LGBTQ+ rights is a mitzvah!

A group of people in a parade with rainbow flags with Stars of David on them.

Together, our Jewish Coalition to Defend Trans and LGBQ+ Youth sends the message:

We affirm that every single person, of every gender and identity, is created b’Tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image.
We are committed to pikuach nefesh, saving lives.
We are proud that our young people are expressing their full selves.
We refuse to push kids — or anyone — into narrow definitions of who they are and who they can be.
We support parents and families who fight for their kids’ safety and dignity.

Upcoming Events

July 10th

August 7th

September 4th

Thrive Coalition meetings occur monthly with advocacy opportunities shared on an ongoing basis. Coalition members will receive meeting details and reminders.

FAQ

What is Thrive?

Thrive is a coalition for Jewish community institutions that want to protect and advance LGBTQ+ civil rights on both state and federal levels. Coalition members receive vital, accessible information and resources to educate and activate their communities to affirm the dignity and humanity of LGBTQ+ youth.

Thrive is a project of Keshet, an organization advancing LGBTQ equality in Jewish life across North America and SOJOURN, which empowers communities to advance and celebrate gender and sexual diversity across the Southern United States.

What does Thrive hope to accomplish?

Thrive provides opportunities for organizations and their communities to learn about and push back against anti-trans and anti-LGBQ+ legislation, especially bills that impact trans youth.

Members can choose to:

  • Learn how anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is connected to other systems of oppression, such as antisemitism and racism.
  • Develop the tools needed to speak about and take action on trans and LGBQ+ issues.
  • Collaborate for bold action to defeat harmful bills and advance pro-equality legislation on the state and federal levels.
What types of organizations can or should join?

Thrive welcomes any Jewish organization that believes trans and LGBQ+ youth deserve to live with dignity, safety, and respect.

What is the obligation and time commitment?

Thrive asks that Coalition members commit to the dignity and humanity of LGBTQ+ youth, but we do not have specific requirements for engagement. We encourage members to attend our monthly meetings or watch meeting recordings, stay up to date on coalition resources, and take action on state and federal levels as appropriate and desired.

Why should Jewish organizations get involved?

As Jews, we have an ethical imperative to treat each person as holy and deserving of respect and dignity. When we speak out for LGBTQ+ equality as Jews, we change the narrative that “religious” means anti-LGBTQ+. It’s a mitzvah, a religious obligation, to fight for the freedom and dignity of all people.

We know that harmful and pervasive anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is connected to all forms of hate, including antisemitism and racism. We must fight back together against these attacks on our communities. The greatest mitzvah in Judaism is to save a life. Devastatingly, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation are disproportionately prevalent among LGBTQ+ youth. When we defend trans and LGBQ+ young people, whether by fighting for LGBTQ+ equality, preventing passage of anti-LGBTQ+ policy, or by creating communities of safety, connection, and belonging, we protect and affirm the lives of LGBTQ+ youth.

What are the current legal threats to trans and LGBQ+ youth?

A small group of elected leaders across dozens of states are proposing and enacting policies that deny trans and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer youth the basic dignities of life.

In 2023, over 520 anti-LGBTQ+ laws and policies have been proposed with 70 anti-LGBTQ+ bills passed in 23 states, the vast majority of which target trans youth. This number will likely continue to go up as legislative sessions continue throughout the year.

These policy attacks are gutting. They don’t stop young people from being trans or LGBQ+, but anti-LGBTQ+ policies do make it much harder for kids to grow up feeling loved and safe. Jewish youth and Jewish families in states with anti-trans and anti-LGBQ+ policies are losing access to life- saving healthcare and live in fear for their safety.

The specific types of laws targeting trans and LGBQ+ youth include:

BANS ON HEALTH CARE FOR MINORS
Prevent youth from being able to access puberty blockers, hormones, or other best practice medical care that alleviates gender dysphoria and allows them to present as the gender they know themselves to be. Sometimes these laws establish criminal penalties for health care providers or families.

BATHROOM BANS
Prevent trans and nonbinary students at public schools from using the bathrooms that best align with their gender identity. Some bills also ban trans adults from using public restrooms.

DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
Often tacked on to other anti-trans legislation, they require public school officials to notify parents if a student speaks to an adult at school about questioning their gender or sexuality. For students who do not feel safe sharing this information with their parents, these requirements make it unsafe to talk to other trusted adults.

“DON’T SAY GAY” BILLS
Ban discussion of, or allow parents to sue teachers and schools for discussing, diverse genders or sexualities in public school classrooms under certain age limits. They are often vague in ways that make teachers fearful of discussing even the basic existence of LGBTQ+ people.

SPORTS BANS
Prevent trans student athletes at public schools and universities from playing on the sports teams that align with their gender identity, and almost always exclusively focus on barring trans girls and women from teams.

As Jews, we know the perils of standing by and remaining silent. For the sake of people’s lives and basic dignity, we must take action.

Can a 501(c)3 organization join Thrive?

Yes! Keshet and SOJOURN are both 501(c)3 organizations and Thrive is a nonpartisan coalition that welcomes 501(c)3 organizations. All Thrive activities abide by IRS guidelines for 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.

Is there someone I can talk to about questions I still have regarding Thrive?

Of course! Please contact Lanie Cohen, Keshet Community Mobilization Manager, at [email protected] or Rose Kantorczyk, SOJOURN Communications Associate, at [email protected].

Fill out this form for your organization to join the Thrive Coalition.

Together, we will ensure that Jewish communities show up in the fight for dignity and rights!

Coalition Members

The Thrive Coalition is a partnership between Keshet and SOJOURN. The Coalition is open to new member groups on an ongoing basis.

A Wider Bridge
Academy for Jewish Religion
ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
ADL Arizona Region
ADL Austin Region
ADL Central Pacific Region
ADL Cleveland Region
ADL Connecticut Region
ADL Heartland Region
ADL Florida
ADL Los Angeles Region
ADL Michigan Region
ADL Mountain States Region
ADL Nevada Region
ADL New England
ADL New York/New Jersey
ADL Orange County/Long Beach
ADL Pacific Northwest Region
ADL Philadelphia Region
ADL San Diego
ADL Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties
ADL South Central Region
ADL Southeast
ADL Southwest
ADL Texoma Region
ADL Washington, DC
ALEPH Ordination Program
Alma Surrogacy LLC
American Jewish Committee (AJC)
Ansche Chesed (New York, NY)
Anshe Emet Synagogue
APS
Ariel Univeristy
Asheville Jewish Community Center
Avodah
BBYO
Be’chol Lashon
Ben Yehuda Press, LLC
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Colorado Chapter
Bet Mishpachah (Washington, DC)
Beth Chayim Chadashim (Los Angeles, CA)
Beth Shalom (Overland Park, KS)
Beth Shalom Synagogue (Memphis, TN)
B’nai Brith Jewish Community Camp
Bnai Keshet (Montclair, NJ)
Carolina Jews for Justice
Charleston Jewish Federation
Coastal Roots Farm
Cohen Projects
Columbia Jewish Congregation (Columbia, MD)
Combined Jewish Philanthropies
Congregation Agudas Achim (Austin, TX)
Congregation B’nai Israel (Sacramento, CA)
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (New York, NY)
Congregation Bet Haverim (Atlanta, GA)
Congregation Beth David (Saratoga, CA)
Congregation Beth El (Voorhees, NJ)
Congregation Beth El of Rochester, NY
Congregation Beth Israel of the Berkshires (North Adams, MA)
Congregation Etz Chaim (Marietta, GA)
Congregation Gesher L Torah (Alpharetta, GA)
Congregation Har HaShem (Boulder, CO)
Congregation Kol Ami (Kansas City, MO)
Congregation Kol Emet (Yardley, PA)
Congregation Rodeph Sholom (New York, NY)
Congregation Sha’ar Zahav (San Francisco, CA)
Congregation Shaare Emeth (St. Louis, MO)
Congregation Shearith Israel (Atlanta, GA)
Congregation Tikkun v’Or / Ithaca Reform Temple
Cornell Hillel
The Den Collective
Eshel
Footsteps
Fort Tryon Jewish Center (New York, NY)
Foundation for Jewish Camp
Gayborhood
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Havurat Shalom, Merrimack Valley
Hebrew College

Hebrew Educational Alliance
HIAS
Hillel at Drexel
Hillel at Virginia Tech
Hillel International
Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl (Baltimore, MD)
Houston Hillel
IKAR (Los Angeles, CA)
Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Interfaith Alliance
Israel on Campus Coalition
JCC of Baltimore
JCC of Greater Vancouver
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston
Jewish Community Action
Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta
Jewish Community Relations Council of Colorado
Jewish Community Relations Council of Broward County
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington
Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
Jewish Community Relations Council of Tucson & Southern Arizona
Jewish Community Services
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
The Jewish Education Project
Jewish Emergent Network
Jewish Family Services of Greensboro
Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee
Jewish Federation of Broward County
Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor
Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester
Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County
Jewish Women International
Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York
Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta
Jewish Women’s Archive
Jewish Youth Climate Movement
Jewish Youth for Community Action
Jews for a Secular Democracy
jHUB
jGirls+ Magazine
The JOC Mishpacha Project
JPride (and The Associated Jewish Federation of Baltimore)
JQ International
JQY
JTEEN
JTS Hendel Center for Ethics and Justice
Judaism Your Way
Kane Street Synagogue (Brooklyn, NY)
Kehilla Community Synagogue (Piedmont, CA)
Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute
Kol Rinah
Konar Center for Tolerance & Jewish Studies at Nazareth College
Lab/Shul (New York, NY)
Lander-Grinspoon Academy
Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation
Macalester College Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
Makom Shelanu Congregation (Fort Worth, TX)
Malkhut: Progressive Jewish Spirituality in Queens (Jackson Heights, NY)
Marcus JCC of Atlanta
Mayport Jewish Association for LGBT
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Memphis Jewish Community Center
Metamorph Mentorship
Milwaukee Jewish Federation
Mishkan Chicago
Mitsui Collective
Mount Zion Temple (St. Paul, MN)
Moving Traditions
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Jewish Women Atlanta Section
National Council of Jewish Women Austin Section

National Council of Jewish Women Greater Rochester Section
National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis Section
National LGBTQ Task Force
Nefesh (Los Angeles, CA)
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
New Paradigm Rabbinics
Or Adam Congregation for Humanistic Judaism (Scottsdale, AZ)
Or Hadash: A Reconstructionist Congregation
Or Hamidbar (Palm Springs, CA)
ORT America
Peninsula Jewish Community Center (Foster City, CA)
Pride and Joy Foundation
QJews
Rabbinical Assembly
Realize Paradise (Honolulu, HI)
Reconstructing Judaism
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Repair the World Atlanta
Repair the World National
Rochester’s Little Minyan (Rochester, MN)
SAJ-Judaism that Stands for All
Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School
Seattle Jewish Community School
Sha’ar Zahav (San Francisco, CA)
Shalom Austin
The Shalom Center
Shalom Orlando
Shearith Israel (Atlanta, GA)
Shir Tikvah Congregation (Minneapolis, MN)
The Shul of New York
Sinai Synagogue (South Bend, IN)
Sixth Circle Consulting
SketchPad
Society for Humanistic Judaism
SOJOURN
St. Paul Jewish Federation
SVARA
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Tamid NYC: the Downtown Synagogue
Temple Adath Or (TAO) (Weston, FL)
Temple B’nai Abraham (Beverly, MA)
Temple B’rith Kodesh (Rochester, NY)
Temple Bat Yam of East Fort Lauderdale
Temple Beth Abraham Tzedek Committee (Nashua, NH)
Temple Beth David (Brighton, NY)
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton (FL)
Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim (Cranford, NJ)
Temple Beth Emeth (Ann Arbor, MI)
Temple Beth Hillel Beth El (Wynnewood, PA)
Temple Beth Zion (Brookline, MA)
Temple Emanu-El (Rochester, NY)
Temple Emanu-El (Sarasota, FL)
Temple Emanu-El (Westfield, NJ)
Temple Emanuel (Denver, CO)
Temple Emeth (Chestnut Hill, MA)
Temple Emunah (Maynard, MA)
Temple Hillel B’nai Torah (West Roxbury, MA)
Temple Israel (Memphis, TN)
Temple Israel (Orlando, FL)
Temple Judea (Coral Gables, FL)
Temple Kol Emeth (Marietta, GA)
Temple Ohabei Shalom (Brookline, MA)
Temple Reyim (Newton, MA)
Temple Shir Tikva (Wayland, MA)
Temple Shir Tikvah (Winchester, MA)
Temple Sinai (New Orleans, LA)
Temple Sinai (Sandy Springs, GA)
Temple Sinai (Rochester, NY)
The Temple (Atlanta, GA)
Tribe 12
Tzedek Georgia
UJF of Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien
Union for Reform Judaism
Up in the Chair
UpStart (Oakland, CA)
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
USY
Vanderbilt Hillel
Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service
Women of Reform Judaism
WRJ Southwest District
The Workers Circle
Zioness Movement

We invite national and local Jewish organizations of all kinds to join Thrive: The Jewish Coalition to Defend Trans and LGBQ+ Youth. If you are an individual looking to support this work, please encourage your synagogue, JCC, and other local or regional Jewish organizations to join Thrive. Email [email protected] for more information.

Join the Coalition and Fight for Our Youth