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'US Jewish communities integrating LGBT members'

November 13, 2012 12:43

Human Rights Campaign Index finds 50% of US Jewish organizations take significant steps to promote LGBT inclusion.

Gay Pride Parade marches across Jerusalem

Gay Pride Parade marches across Jerusalem. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem)

LGBT civil rights organization The Human Rights Campaign released on Monday its first index of inclusion within Jewish communities.

The Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI) provides criterion for gauging, and resources for improving, inclusive policies for LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) in North American Jewish communal organizations.

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The index indicates how Jewish organizations address LGBT diversity and inclusion in three categories: organizational inclusion efforts, community/client engagement and workplace policies.

50 percent of the nonprofit Jewish organizations received a top score of "inclusion", which indicates they are taking significant steps to welcome LGBT individuals and families.

The index aims to encourage Jewish communities to prioritize inclusion of LGBT members and highlights significant opportunities for improvement, especially in workplace recruitment and training.

The index also found that 98 percent of organizations participating in the survey offer same-sex couples family membership, and 90 percent include inclusive terms in their publicity materials.

“This report marks a milestone in the Jewish community,” said Idit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet, a non-profit organization that works for the full inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life.

“We hope it will galvanize our leaders to make LGBT inclusion a key priority, and we invite organizations at any stage of inclusion to reach out to us for training, resources and assistance to make our community a home for all,” she added.
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