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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.