Keshet (organization)

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Keshet
Keshet Logo Icon 72dpi.png
The Keshet logo
Motto Working for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life
Formation 1996
Location
Executive Director Idit Klein
Website keshetonline.org

Keshet (Hebrew: קשתkeshet, lit. "rainbow") is a national grassroots organization with offices in Boston, Denver, and the San Francisco Bay Area that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life. Led and supported by LGBT Jews and straight allies, Keshet offers resources, trainings, and technical assistance to create inclusive Jewish communities nationwide. Keshet produced the documentary Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School and companion curriculum.

On June 18, 2010, it was announced that Jewish Mosaic, another American Jewish LGBT organization, would merge with Keshet, with the post-merger organization retaining the name "Keshet". The merger was aided through a grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.[1] Jewish Mosaic was included in the 2005 and 2006 editions of “Slingshot,” a guide to 50 “of the most creative and effective Jewish organizations” in America.[2]

National programs[edit]

The Hineini Education Project[edit]

The Hineini Education Project trains and supports Jewish educators, clergy, program staff, youth, and lay leaders to ensure that GLBT youth, families, and staff are safe and affirmed in all Jewish educational and community settings. The Hineini Education Project has three major components:

Jewish Safe Schools & Supportive Communities[edit]

Individualized staff development trainings, consultations, and workshops that teach concrete strategies for combating anti-GLBT bias, supporting GLBT youth, and creating fully inclusive experiences for all Jewish youth and families. Keshet also runs two intensive Training Institutes annually for Jewish educators and community leaders. Participants are given the tools and guidance to replicate the trainings in their own communities.[3][4] Keshet also has partnership with Rabbi Steve Greenberg, the first and only openly gay Orthodox rabbi, Keshet’s Rabbi-in-Residence.[5]

Film Screenings and Facilitated Workshops[edit]

Opportunities to use the Keshet-produced documentary film Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School to explore issues of identity, gender and sexual orientation, Jewish pluralism, Jewish perspectives on homosexuality and gender diversity, and youth-led activism.

Hineini Curriculum Resource Guide[edit]

A companion to the film Hineini that equips Jewish educators with resources to integrate GLBT issues into a wide range of programs and curricula, including Jewish text study history, social studies, health education, or a youth group retreat on diversity in the Jewish community. The materials can be used in both formal and informal educational settings with youth in grades 7-12.

Building Capacity for LGBT Jewish Inclusion[edit]

Training and technical support for emerging Jewish LGBT groups to replicate Keshet’s Jewish Safe Schools & Supportive Communities Program and build local capacity for fostering inclusion. JPride (San Diego), The Jewish Gay Network of Michigan (Detroit), and JQ International (Los Angeles) are Keshet’s first affiliated partners.[6]

KeshetClal Inclusion Project[edit]

Responding to changes in Conservative halakha regarding the status of gays and lesbians, Keshet and Rabbi Steve Greenberg have joined together to create an integrated program that combines a text-based, halakhic approach to GLBT inclusion with Keshet’s experiential, skills-based Jewish Safe Schools & Supportive Communities trainings. This synthesized approach offers rabbis, lay leaders, and educators concrete skills for understanding and supporting GLBT experience in the context of traditional Judaism.

Massachusetts programs[edit]

Transgender Working Group (TWiG)[edit]

A support and social group for transgender Jews and allies. TWiG also offers educational programs on transgender issues and fosters trans inclusion in Keshet and in the broader Jewish community.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keshet and Jewish Mosaic to merge, Jacob Berkman, Jewish Telegraph Agency, June 18, 2010
  2. ^ "Slingshot Book". 21/64. Retrieved June 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Educators learn ways to welcome GLBT Jews into the community.". (May 20, 2008.) JTA. Retrieved on 2008-September 9.
  4. ^ "Training educators, rabbis to welcome, affirm gay Jews.". (August 1, 2008.) Cleveland Jewish News.com. Retrieved on 2008-September 9.
  5. ^ Epstein, Judy. "Rabbi Steve Greenberg named Scholar-in-Residence by Keshet and Hazon." CLAL, 2008.
  6. ^ Jewish Gay Network of Michigan website. Accessed January 9, 2009.

External links[edit]

  • Rich Dweck, Blogger and runs the website [1] called Jewish Pink Elephant- (Ideas of an American Syrian Orthodox Gay Jew) He shares his personal experiences going through ex-gay therapy, growing up in an orthodox Jewish community, suicidal ideations, internalized homophobia and his struggles to reconcile both identities. You can find articles and videos from hundreds of sources on being Jewish and Gay, Orthodox Rabbis for Gay rights, contemporary Jewish issues, Gay rights issues, people's personal stories and so much more. He also has a folder of Jewish LGBT organizations within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Great Britain, Australia, Israel and many others places across the globe. This is a great resource for those coming out, the parents of gay or questioning, people thinking about ex-gay therapy.
  • Keshet Online (official website)
  • Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School (official website of the film)

Press[edit]