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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Keshet Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: Keshet is a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews in Jewish life. Led and supported by LGBT Jews and straight allies, Keshet strives to cultivate the spirit and practice of inclusion in all parts of the Jewish community. We began as a small, grassroots group working for change in the Greater Boston area, and we are now a national organization with offices in the Bay Area and Denver, in addition to our national office in Boston.

Programs: Build Community for LGBT Jews Support Families Train Jewish Leaders for LGBT Inclusion Fight for LGBT Civil Rights Produce Jewish LGBT Resources

Community Stories

138 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I follow Keshet on facebook and twitter and it's helpful to always see what is going on in the GLBT world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet provides the support I need to feel welcome in Jewish spaces.

Bill83

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet has changed the face of the American Jewish community for the better. Thanks to Keshet, we are on the way to being a more inclusive and just community. My volunteer work has been forever improved due to my time with Keshet. My roles with Keshet made me feel powerful and able to make impact.

Suzie5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Keshet is an incredible asset to the Jewish community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I count on Keshet to keep me abreast of pertinent issues in the Jewish queer community that represent particular points of view. I frequently direct my social work students to Keshet for articles and commentary that I believe may be relevant and stimulate dialogue.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet is an incredible organization that brings Jewish life to LGBTQ Jews that are looking for more out of their Jewish involvement. Keshet focuses their efforts on inclusion, and I've been wildly impressed with the work Keshet does on a national level, and the work it has been doing locally in Miami.

The Jewish world is indeed a better place with Keshet in it!

Zohar A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Keshet is doing a fantastic job that no one else is doing in the Jewish community of North America today. Their devotion and commitment, as well as their peaceful and friendly approach to different types of communities and people are making the change of approach towards lgbt's in Jewish communities a living reality in stead of just empty words.

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet is an amazing organization that fills many needs. The only thing that could make Keshet better would be for it to exist in more places. May the organization's mission continue to reach those who need support the most.

Donor

Rating: 5

KESHET is an incredible, innovative and dynamic organization ensuring GLBT inclusiveness in the Jewish community and beyond. They have a warm, smart, and wonderful staff who continue to impress me over and over again!

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet is the only group working nationally on behalf of LGBT Jews, and they do it with huge energy, compassion, and attention to detail. They're smart and focused and humane. In particular I'd point to their efforts at making the transgender part of "LGBT" really significant, but also to their deeply humane and deeply Jewish way of working for a kinder world.

Alan25

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet has done so much to promote GLBT inclusiveness and fairness in the Jewish community, and as someone who is both gay and Jewish, I certainly appreciate that.

Linda282

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet is nationally respected for the work they do in the Jewish lgbt community. They have been the lead in Jewish education and community building nationwide. They are accepted fully by mainstream Jewish community and provides a safe home for diversity. Idit Kline is an amazing leader and founder.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet is true to is grassroots beginnings. I approached Keshet about having a presence at Boston's Youth Pride and they supported me in organizing a table and getting volunteers. They are truly an organization driven by community need and interest.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My formal Jewish education went from pre-school to seventh grade and nobody ever even mentioned the possibility of being anything but heterosexual and cisgender. Synagogues are becoming more inclusive, but they will need proper guidance.

If I'd had resources like Keshet when I was younger, I think I would have figured out a lot of things a lot sooner. I am so glad that it exists.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have no personal expierence with this organazition, nor do I live in the area it serves but as a Queer Jewish kid I wish I did.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned over the summer of 2014 with Keshet, and was never anything but impressed by the passion for and knowledge of the work that the staff members had. Everyone at the SF branch was dedicated, knowledgeable, fun, and passionate. I think Keshet is absolutely life-changing, and I would like nothing better to see them grow and expand even more so that Jewish communities everywhere can have the luck and pleasure of being educated by them.

FrederickHertz

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet is doing great work in the SF bay area -- reaching out to unaffiliated Jews in the LGBT community and encouraging mainstream Jewish organizations to open their programs and facilities to LGBT participants. Their leadership is highly qualified and they are working in a focused an efficient manner to bring real social change to the Jewish community,

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Keshet does amazing work to increase inclusion in the Jewish community for Jews who identify as LGBTQ. As a professional in the slightly different but very much related field of Jewish inclusion for kids with special needs, they inspire me every single day, and have been incredible partners in making the Jewish community accessible to all.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had many opportunities to serve on non-profit boards, but Keshet is the one that truly holds to their mission. I am a proud Jewish woman and a proud mother with a gay daughter. These two elements are powerful forces in my life. For me, the two are one. With a energetic staff, a super-hero executive, outstanding volunteers and generous donors, Keshet is completing their goals with hugh success.
Keshet is making a difference with educations and engaging events. Bravo, Keshet,
Ann Falchuk

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet is leading the way in pushing the Jewish community to be more LGBTQ inclusive. From educational programming to community building, Keshet serves most of the Jewish community. As a Keshet volunteer and queer-identified Jew, I am grateful for the opportunity to join them in this hard and rewarding work.

Donor

Rating: 4

I have been very impressed with the community organizing work of Keshet in the Bay Area. They are reaching folks who do not normally identify with Jewish organizations, especially synagogues. Young people, who truly acknowledge multiple identities, are being supported in their journeys to participation and leadership. Providing important education in schools and non profit organizations helps these agencies to better serve their LGBTQ clients, students and families.

The staff understands the importance of programs that emphasize fun, connecting folks to learning opportunities and having an open door for listening.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet is the best investment I have made, both philanthropically and in terms of energy spent as a volunteer bread member. Keshet has saved lives, has helped stop bullying in schools, and brought many disenfranchised Jewish people back into the community. Bravissimo!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet works in the Jewish community all over the United States. It saw there was a need to be more inclusive and because of their amazing work, there is more understanding and tolerance in the community. They have a small staff but because of the commitment they make a hugh difference.


Shaily H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Being someone who teters between Jewish and LGBT none profits, its really nice seeing something that works for both. Its very empowering to know they work for so many demographics like teachers, families, professionals, and youth. I cannot wait to see how this none profit expands. I really love their resources. The staff has gone out of there way to support me.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Keshet identified a need in the community (that being both the LGBTQA and Jewish communities individually) that was not being addressed. As a member of both communities, I know that there really hasn't been much space for intersectionality. It is important for members of the LGBTQA community to know that their sexual orientation does not rob them of their Jewish identity and that they can be fully embraced by everyone. Keshet is working on the important work within the system to ensure that Jewish organizations, day schools and synagogues stand up for all of their members.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It goes without saying that I sleep better at night knowing that Keshet is doing the hard work to build a more inclusive Judaism.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet does amazing work in providing resources and training for enabling synagogues and community groups to be welcoming and supportive for LGBT participants. I have found Keshet to be a warm and welcoming community in Boston and a great way to meet other LGBT Jews. I have had the opportunity to participate in Shabbat celebrations and in learning opportunities and have enjoyed attending and volunteering at the Cabaret fundraiser for several years. The Keshet staff and volunteers are fantastic and truly dedicated to the organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Seldom do you see an organization that models the very values it teaches -- empathy, compassion, tolerance and respect. Keshet has taught us all to be more accepting of ourselves and others. It has given a home and a voice to so many LGBTQ community members who felt displaced, misunderstood, and powerless. It is no wonder that Keshet has become a leading change agent in the Jewish community and beyond.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet is an amazing organization on account of its passionate, thoughtful, dedicated, and innovative staff. The staff's, donors' and program participants' ability to connect to Keshet's mission and to implement real change and inclusiveness in Jewish communities of all denominations and throughout the country has transformed Keshet from an idea of a few people just over 10 years ago to a thriving national organization. I am honored to be a part of it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keshet does great works for the GLBTQ community and does wonders for advocacy among the Jewish community. I believe with things like GLBTQ outreach, it needs to be done at a more personal, intimate level, and I think working through the Jewish community is exactly the approach that's needed. They do so many things with so little resources it's absolutely amazing.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet leads the way in the next generation of smart, highly connected, impactful work. If you're someone who wants to claim your full identity -- both Jewish and queer -- Keshet provides the resources and connections to make this happen. And the space being created in the "mainstream" Jewish community for GLBT inclusion and celebration is impressive. Thanks, Keshet

Emilia D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keshet has been an incredible resource to me as an educator and supporter of young Jewish people. It ha s helped me work with teachers and teens to create a more just, inclusive, and vibrant community at my institution.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet has grown over the past decade from a local community and advocacy group to become THE leading national go-to for Jewish agencies, synagogues, et al for resources and training to become inclusive. This credibility and reach has come through the strategic and thoughtful approach of a dynamic staff and volunteer base and is enabling Keshet to make remarkable strides in advancing a vision of a Jewish community that is truly inclusive and to, in the same breathe, protect and support all of our LGBT kids.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet is among the most effective non-profit organizations on the Jewish communal landscape for its clear mission and easily measured outcomes. If 10 years ago, few Jewish institutions were open and welcoming of LGBT Jews, today, a Jewish institution that does not consider LGBT Jews full and equal members is considered an outlier in need of transformation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved Keshet when I was living in Boston because it let me participate in and then contribute to Jewish LGBT events. I wish it was national so that it could have reached me when I lived in Minneapolis and now that I am in Washington D.C. It has been wonderful to see it expand from Boston-only to Denver and now San Fran too! I hope to see Keshet continue to expandi the types of services it offers from social to advocacy to supportive, etc as it has been doing over the past many years.

Previous Stories
12

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keshet is an amazing unique organization that makes me feel so welcome as a Jewish lesbian. I think the fact that my potential move to DC is being put off because I don't want to leave Keshet, is a testament to how strongly I feel about their mission, programming, and presence.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What Keshet has created is a must for anyone concerned about making each child feel safe to learn in all of our educational environments. This is not just about GLBT inclusivity – this is reframing the way we look at constructing educational spaces. Keshet’s training should be mandatory for every teacher, educator, counselor and youth worker in the Jewish community.

23

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In my 35 years as a social worker and member of progressive oranizations, I have never been as impressed with any organization as I have with Keshet. Initially I became involved with Keshet to meet the " Jewish woman of my dreams." "I soon learned Keshet's social events were a small part of their work. Each year I am amazed how much Keshet continues to explode into the larger community. IT IS AS IF A GRAIN OF SAND HAS BECOME A BEACH. Idit Klein is a brilliant leader who is able to envision how to eduate the broader Jewish community about GBLT issues in a way that GBLT Jewish people are no longer "other," but are the "We." I would like to see Keshet have more staff and funding to continue its educational work. I know from personal experience self acceptance allows me to feel safe in the world. I cannot function well without that safety.I did not find it in my family, my school, or in my temple. I had to wait until I was an adult to find that safe haven. I found it in friends. Keshet added to my sense of well being in the world. Feeling okay about who we are can start at home and in our Jewish institutions. I want the next generation of Jewish LBGT to feel included, not excluded, self-love, not loathing, and empowerment not impotency. KESHET IS MAKING THIS HAPPEN!!! Berni Zisserson

22

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Keshet combines direct service to GLBT Jews in Greater Boston with local and national advocacy for full inclusion by Jewish institutions, especially schools. That's a winning and effective combination.

24

Client Served

Rating: 5

As an educator Keshet has given me tools to help make GLBT students feel safe and part of a community. The world is a better place for having Keshet.

22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet is at the forefront of real and thorough change in the Jewish communities' actitudes and policies about diversity, and in the GLBT Jewish world, with a very caring staff that works first, but not only, with the heart .

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thirty years and counting: I have been involved with many non-profit organizations. Keshet is at the top of my list for energy, dedication, brilliant leadership and financial responsibility.. Keshet will always have my support for the important work they accomplish.The energy surrounding Keshet is enough for 10 organizations.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm very grateful for my experiences with Keshet. The organization is full of thoughtful, friendly, progressive individuals who go out of their way to make everyone involved feel welcome. As someone new to Boston, I was not fully equipped to handle how socially isolating it can be, but Keshet was there for me and I can say, with confidence, that several of my dearest friends are Keshet members.

11

Donor

Rating: 4

As a staff person at a foundation, I spend lots of time thinking about social change, how its made, which models are strong and which aren't as strong. Keshet is one of a handful of organizations (i.e. fewer than five) that is in the top tier in terms of strong social change models among all of the foundation's grantees. In addition to excellent execution, which is a prerequisite, the aspect of Keshet's model I find most compelling its combination of two strategies. On the one hand, they work with individuals, helping folks see that there is a way to integrate the GLBT aspect of their identity with the Jewish aspect of their identity. On the other hand, they work with mainstream Jewish institutions (e.g. synagogues, JCCs, camps, schools) to help them recognize a) that they may not be as welcoming and inclusive as they think they are, and b) how to be more welcoming and inclusive. Either of these approaches by themselves would be important work. The combination of the two is far more than the sum of the individual parts. The fact that Keshet has chosen to "grow" by spreading/sharing what its learned rather than scaling up its infrastructure in multiple cities is another smart, resourceful decision by the organization. Finally, institutions that come to realize that they weren't as welcoming and inclusive as they thought they were in terms of GLBT folks are, in my opinion, highly likely to ask the obvious next question. Namely, "Who else doesn't feel as welcome and included as we might think?" Interfaith couples, Jews of color, folks with physical, mental or learning differences could all appear on the institution's radar in a new way. Because of this ripple effect, I think of Keshet not simply as a GLBT organization, but as an organization that's bringing about a more inclusive, welcoming Jewish community in general. Any funder that is looking forward to the day when the Jewish community welcomes, includes and helps unleash the potential involvement of every individual has a great investment opportunity in Keshet.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet has made fabulous strides in outreach to the Jewish Community. The educational programs have created important dialogue in moving toward more inclusivity for all.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer first and then for a small time as an intern when Keshet was starting to grow back in 2003. I think the vision of the organization with the community organizing tools applied, has brought to Boston, the US and also to the international Jewish community an example on how things can change for good. In Argentina and Latin America we had applied Keshet tools and programs succesfully and we have always had the support of their staff.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet is one of those charities where the staff, although professional are focused on their mission 24/7. It is a pleasure to see donations so carefully managed and so much good done day to day

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Idit Klein is a visionary leader, someone who has brought consistent and thorough leadership to the Boston community in general and to GLBT in particular. Through her work at Keshet she has expanded the network of communal understanding and empathy, education and focus to a growing awareness for inclusion. To be part of the network of support enhances our understanding of an organization who has managed growth and vision simultaneously to produce great results. I am honored to be part of the effort.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keshet is wonderful. Always happy, always helping. Just wonderful. Every event I've ever attended, from staff to membership, everyone has been welcoming and kind.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Keshet is an organization that is transforing the American Jewish community. It has incredibly strong leadership, strategic thinking, and can handle the follow-through necessary to run a national organization - it's well-worth any investment of time or money!

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

time is short, and my admiration long: but the point is that work Keshet does to increase awareness and create a civil society is beyond works. the menu does not allow for mulitple roles....but I am a professional, donor, and personal fan of the organization. In this day and age, Keshet provides a steady north star vision for the world, which we so sorely need. thanks.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet is a remarkable and essential resource to the Jewish community - as a straight allie who has supported other GLBT organizations for years, it's about time we got with the program! The leadership and staff of Keshet bring innovation and creativity to their work,along with an inclusive and joyous approach. In the past several years they have succeeded in developing many of the necessary tools for building awareness, strengthening education, and promoting action on GLBT issues in our community.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen Keshet come from a local Boston non-profit for the benefit of the Gay/Lesbian/Bi/ Trans community into a nationally known organization , educating, servicing and supporting the young LGBT person and also the general Jewish community. I support their successful efforts financially and spiritually.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working with Keshet has remained a pinnacle experience of how working with an engaged nonprofit can yield brilliant, extraordinary results. I adore these people.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

Keshet is a model organization that is educating, transforming, and supporting the Jewish community locally and nationally. I am proud to be a supporter of Keshet, and I feel confident that my children will grow up in a more inclusive Jewish community because of Keshet's work. I am very impressed by how Keshet, in just a few years, had developed from a local community organization to a powerful force on the national scene.

13

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Keshet is a wonderful organization. The work that they do helps make our community welcoming and inclusive, and I am so glad that Keshet exists.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet is a wonderful organization that works to make the larger Jewish community more welcoming and inclusive of the GLBT community. I first became acquainted with Keshet when I attended a speed dating event they held many years ago. It was really fun, and whaddaya know? - I met my partner there! So, yes, I am one of several (dare I say, "many?") love connections that Keshet has made. Also, at this point, Keshet really is my primary tie to the Jewish community, and of course to the Jewish GLBT community in Boston because Keshet is the foundation of the Jewish GLBT community in our city. So, I am indebted to Keshet in many ways, and I applaud their work - their mission, their trainings, "Hineini," etc. Because of Keshet, I am able to live more openly in both my Jewish and queer identities.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Keshet does a great job advocating for LGBTQ folks in the Jewish communities, educating members of the Jewish community on LGBTQ issues, and organising social and support events for LGBTQ Jews.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

We in the Boston area are fortunate to have Keshet as a community service, training and educational organization. I work with college students and Keshet has helped the GLBT and friends community over the years. They assist with training, make visits to campus to discuss issues that are pertinent to the campus community and have volunteers who are always available to come in for educational programs. I appreciate their strong volunteer base and the commitment that Keshet has to the greater Boston Jewish community.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Keshet is an amazing organization whose work has made a huge impact on the inclusivity of the Jewish community. The consultations and trainings that Keshet conducts with clergy and lay leaders help to ensure that GLBT Jews can fully integrate their identities. Moreover, the Hineni film and curriculum guide have been used to discuss issues of diversity, pluralism, and the changing nature of Jewish law in Jewish camps, day schools, and congregations.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a member of the Boston LGBTQ and Jewish communities, I very much value the role Keshet plays by creating a place where these communities work together positively, creating progressive social change and an inclusive space for us all.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was an intern at Keshet for a summer. I learned more about contributing to a community and the value of good leaders allowing those with passion and movtivation to move projects forward than at any other place in my employment experience thus far. I am eternally grateful for the guidance of Orly and Idit, and the trust they showed me over the course of the summer. The mission of this organization is central to Jewish communal development, but their impact is much wider, and constantly reminds people of the power of dual-identity politics, issue-focused campaigns and the importance of one-to-one connections! Keshet was my gold at the end of the rainbow!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet is doing very important work in the Greater Boston area and beyond. Their work to educate the larger jewish community about GLBT folks is really important. In addition their organizing and advocacy around equal marriage and transgender issues has and will continue to be critical.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Keshet was worked to create an open and inclusive community where members can connect in countless ways. Their educational trainings are laying the groundwork for significant change in the way that Jewish educators relate to students and how they respond to GLBT issues.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

Put simply, Keshet is the only GLBT focused non-profit that I can point to and say "my life is better because they exist."