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June 23, 2009

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June 23, 2009

In 2000, faith became a much larger part of my life, and I needed a way to integrate that with my life’s work. As a transgender leader, it meant the world to me when Idit Klein asked me to come and work with Keshet – to help make Keshet and its work trans welcoming and inclusive from the beginning. Together we founded Keshet’s Transgender Working Group (TWiG). Through Keshet, and its role in the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality, I’ve been a part of so much wonderful Jewish and interfaith work around trans issues – so much tikkun olam.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Jewish community and far beyond, locally (Massachusetts), nationally, and internationally (especially because of our film "Hineini").

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

finally being able to combine my faith and my social justice work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I'm not sure that I understand this question.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

go a long way towards 'putting itself out of business' in a good way. There will always be a need for Jewish GLBT organizations. However, there's a critical need for education in the Jewish community and everywhere else, especially re: transgender.

Ways to make it better...

there were more funding available for transgender work, from Jewish and other sources.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

one is, of course, the local and other economic crises.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 18, 2009

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June 18, 2009

Keshet (rainbow) is a worthwhile organization that does amazing work in advocating for Jewish LGBT community. While their origins were local services in the Boston area, they now work other groups to offer services nationwide and around the world. I had the honor to attend a three-day national workshop on creating a safe and supportive safe for teens which I have brought back to my synagogue. In fact, I have taught a film and accompanying curriculum on the issue of homosexuality and Judaism that Keshet produced. Further, Keshet has been instrumental in helping my synagogue community become an advocate for the LGBT community. On a personal note, having been torn about my own identity for many years, it was the confidence and resources that I got from Keshet's workshop that convinced me to come out.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own ability to define myself as gay and in the faces of my teens who have come out and/or become advocates for equality, particularly in a Jewish context.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to facilitate opportunities for past workshop participants to stay in touch on a formal level. I would also work to create programs and resources in other areas of the country or partner with already established groups in these areas.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the confidence I have gained in teaching about and advocating for LGBT equality. As a young professional who works with teens, gender and sexuality is a hot topic. I have a fantastic knowledge base to be an effective teacher on this important topic.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

amazing individuals who are not working with this organization for a paycheck. They are motivated and empowered to create an LGBT community, to fight for LGBT rights and equality, and to empower teens and future leaders to be advocates on this issue.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do anything! It would expand the social programming locally and in other areas. It would also facilitate opportunities for lay leaders to participate to in workshops and seminars.

Ways to make it better...

I found Keshet earlier in my life! For too long I could not define my sexual orientation and I was not comfortable with myself. Thanks to Keshet, I gained valuable professional tools and the invaluable opportunity to grown on a personal level.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial, like any other nonprofit. Aside from money, this organization struggles for validity in certain areas. In less progressive geographic areas, a gay rights group has toubles. In more traditional religious communities, the same problems exist.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 17, 2009

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June 17, 2009

Keshet is an amazing organization that I have had the privilege to work with several times. Each time, I have been witness to the transformative and healing power of the educative work it does by helping some people to feel visible and appreciated for the first time, while helping other people to struggle through their own questions and barriers to become more open-minded. I've seen educators who have gone through a Keshet training take their new learnings and understandings into their own classroom to create safer, more inclusive, more sensitive learning environments.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way that people who have gone through Keshet's trainings are able to take their learnings with them, and use them in their own lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

fall over, because there is so much work to do!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting the people who work at the organization because they are passionate about the work they do.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate, interested, diverse and friendly.

Ways to make it better...

?

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting people to initially understand WHY Keshet's work is important to them (as soon as they sign on, they learn immediately).

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 17, 2009

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June 17, 2009

Keshet is an amazing organization that really manages to balance meeting the needs of its members and local community while bringing important messages and advocacy to a wider community. The organization is brave, fearless, and principled.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

constantly exceed targets and expectations.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hand it over to Idit Klein, she's the best.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they keep it real.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

smart, energetic, and devoted.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world.

Ways to make it better...

there was less homophobia in the world --but that is why we have keshet and these other great organizations.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

its too small for the job it has in front of it and this is tough economy for growing an organization.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 17, 2009

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June 17, 2009

Keshet does a great job building relationships between the LGBT and mainstream Jewish communities. It's education and outreach programs are first rate.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they value my expertise.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

warm and welcoming.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the way the entire Jewish community sees its LGBT members.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 17, 2009

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June 17, 2009

Keshet is a wonderful and diverse organization that makes a huge difference in the lives of LGBTQ Jews and allies of all ages by providing educational, social, cultural and organizing for social justice in a wide variety of settings.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping people of all ages appreciate and support the LGBTQ members of Jewish community and their allies.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

probably be less effective than those currently running things.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Thinking creatively about LGBTQ inclusion.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Diverse and talented

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help make this world a much better and inclusive one.

Ways to make it better...

If II participated more actively.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Recognition from more mainstream organizations

One thing I'd also say is that...

Keshet is a very special organization that has yet to reach it's full potential.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 16, 2009

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June 16, 2009

As a non-profit agency that serves families, we had Keshet review all of our promotional materials and website to make sure that we were being welcoming and inclusive. They suggested some word changes which we incorporated and have increased the number of GLBT families we serve.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its collaboration with other CBO's in our community.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how non-judgemental it is and how it educates the general community in ways to be welcoming and inclusive.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all first rate.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

promote tolerance among all commmunities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

June 16, 2009

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June 16, 2009

In 1981 I lost my job for a national Jewish organization because of my identity, a lesbian. Today Keshet is providing leadership, adovacy and training for that organization and others to ensure that our Jewish community grows beyond 'tolerating' LGBTQQI, to embracing, celebrating all. I am a social worker, Jewish educator, community activist and leader in my midwest LBGTQQI community with over 3 decades or professional experience. Participating in Keshets training program, it's master educator training program and then bringing their work into my community has been one of my rewarding personal and professional experiences. The Keshet staff work with a high standard of professional work ethics and practice. The trainings were hands on and provided participants with tools that can easily be used in synagogues and Jewish youth groups and schools. Their community organizational approach is fundamental to their successful approach.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the difference between Jewish educators and clergy from the beginning of their national training program and at the end. The shift in these participants was tranformational.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire someone to assist Keshet to take their work to the next step on the natioal level.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working and learning side by side with a broad age range of professionals who also represented the entire spectrum of LBGTTQI and straight allies.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dynamic, passionate, professional, interesting, personable, inspirational

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

work on buidling a grass roots national effort utilizing training participants, collaborating with other national and international Jewish organizations and LGBTQQI organizations.

Ways to make it better...

The organization modeled their Jewish identity and expression by including Jewish ritual and activities along side the training materials.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

balancing programming in the Boston area with the potential to have impact on the national level while the need is great, the workers are too few and the dollars are hard to secure in this economy and non profit climate.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thanks for everything.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

June 16, 2009

more

June 16, 2009

Keshet is providing a service like no other group. The Shalem Education Project is growing into organizations all over the country to help bring GLBT inclusivness to Jewish institutions everywhere!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Religious schools all over the country.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

keep doing what has been done!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being a part of something that I feel is crucial.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

well educated, determined, fun people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have offices and staff in all major cities in the country.

Ways to make it better...

I had more resources to provide this training.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial.

One thing I'd also say is that...

We need more people out there doing this work.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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