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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago Jewish groups kick off Keshet's LGBTQ inclusive Leadership Project
2018-10-29

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Keshet, a national organization working for LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life, announced today that 21 Chicago-area Jewish organizations will participate in Keshet's first Chicagoland Leadership Project. The year-long Leadership Project kicks off with a day-long leadership summit on November 8 at Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston.

The Chicagoland Leadership Project is cosponsored by Chicago's Response Center, a program of Jewish Child and Family Services.

The Keshet Leadership Project gathers, trains, provides resources for, and supports Jewish institutions seeking to become more inclusive of LGBTQ individuals and families. At the initial Nov. 8 summit, leaders from the 21 participating Chicago-area organizations will learn how to foster LGBTQ inclusion and formulate a practical, specific action plan for doing so. Keshet will then provide a full year of follow-up support and training to help participating groups realize their LGBTQ-inclusion action plans.

Since 2014, nearly 200 organizations have taken part in the Keshet Leadership Project. In 2017 alone, Keshet offered training and consultation to Jewish organizations that collectively reach over 800,000 people.

JCC Chicago, which serves 50,000 individuals, will take part in the Chicagoland Leadership Project. "JCC Chicago prides itself on focusing on inclusion. Our belief is that all people should be able to participate in JCC Chicago's vibrant array of programs and events. This is no different for LGBTQ individuals, whether they are staff, program participants, or thinking about engaging with JCC Chicago," says Chief Human Resources Officer Johanna Fine.

Anshe Emet Synagogue, one of the oldest Conservative congregations in Chicago, will also participate. "Anshe Emet is participating in this important training to continue on its path as an inclusive space for all who are seeking a Jewish community. We strive to be amongst those involved with best practices and to set an example, since we regularly welcome individuals and families in the LGBTQ community," says Cantor Liz Berke.

Keshet's Executive Director Idit Klein says, "Keshet has long had close ties to the Chicagoland Jewish community. It's fantastic to see so many of the area's Jewish institutions demonstrating their commitment to their LGBTQ constituents. At this critical time in the Jewish community and our country as a whole, Keshet is thrilled to deepen our investment in the Chicago area and work together for stronger, more just Jewish communities."

About Keshet: Founded in 2001, Keshet is the only organization in the U.S. that works for LGBTQ inclusion in all facets of Jewish life — synagogues, Hebrew schools, day schools, youth groups, summer camps, social-service organizations and other communal agencies. Learn more about Keshet at 21 CHICAGO-AREA JEWISH GROUPS KICK OFF KESHET'S CHICAGOLAND LEADERSHIP PROJECT WITH LGBTQ INCLUSION SUMMIT ON NOV. 8

New year-long Leadership Project cosponsored by Jewish Child and Family Services' Response Center

Keshet, a national organization working for LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life, announced today that 21 Chicago-area Jewish organizations will participate in Keshet's first Chicagoland Leadership Project. The year-long Leadership Project kicks off with a day-long leadership summit on November 8 at Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston.

The Chicagoland Leadership Project is cosponsored by Chicago's Response Center, a program of Jewish Child and Family Services.

The Keshet Leadership Project gathers, trains, provides resources for, and supports Jewish institutions seeking to become more inclusive of LGBTQ individuals and families. At the initial Nov. 8 summit, leaders from the 21 participating Chicago-area organizations will learn how to foster LGBTQ inclusion and formulate a practical, specific action plan for doing so. Keshet will then provide a full year of follow-up support and training to help participating groups realize their LGBTQ-inclusion action plans.

Since 2014, nearly 200 organizations have taken part in the Keshet Leadership Project. In 2017 alone, Keshet offered training and consultation to Jewish organizations that collectively reach over 800,000 people.

JCC Chicago, which serves 50,000 individuals, will take part in the Chicagoland Leadership Project. "JCC Chicago prides itself on focusing on inclusion. Our belief is that all people should be able to participate in JCC Chicago's vibrant array of programs and events. This is no different for LGBTQ individuals, whether they are staff, program participants, or thinking about engaging with JCC Chicago," says Chief Human Resources Officer Johanna Fine.

Anshe Emet Synagogue, one of the oldest Conservative congregations in Chicago, will also participate. "Anshe Emet is participating in this important training to continue on its path as an inclusive space for all who are seeking a Jewish community. We strive to be amongst those involved with best practices and to set an example, since we regularly welcome individuals and families in the LGBTQ community," says Cantor Liz Berke.

Keshet's Executive Director Idit Klein says, "Keshet has long had close ties to the Chicagoland Jewish community. It's fantastic to see so many of the area's Jewish institutions demonstrating their commitment to their LGBTQ constituents. At this critical time in the Jewish community and our country as a whole, Keshet is thrilled to deepen our investment in the Chicago area and work together for stronger, more just Jewish communities."

About Keshet: Founded in 2001, Keshet is the only organization in the U.S. that works for LGBTQ inclusion in all facets of Jewish life — synagogues, Hebrew schools, day schools, youth groups, summer camps, social-service organizations and other communal agencies. Learn more about Keshet at www.keshetonline.org/about/ .

—From a press release


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