A report presented at the recently concluded General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America (GA) challenged the organized Jewish community when it comes to their inclusion policies and “to be more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT families, couples and individuals.”
The report was funded by the Schusterman and Morningstar foundations and compiled by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
The GA is the premier annual North American Jewish communal event, attracting Federation volunteer leaders and professionals, the leadership of our partner organizations and a range of national Jewish organizations.
During the GA, the Jewish community comes together to share innovations and celebrate achievements.
In this year’s event – which ran from November 11 to 13 in Baltimore – Eli Wiesel and Natan Sharansky engaged in a historic dialogue to commemorate the March on Washington for Soviet Jewry.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation report, titled the “Jewish Organization Equality Index 2012,” includes the inclusion policies of 204 Jewish organizations.
According to the report, 98% of organizations that responded to the survey, recognize same-sex couples, 66% reach out specifically to the LGBT community, 73% employ a written non-discrimination policy, of which 89% include “sexual orientation” and 49% include “gender identity.”
Of the 160 organizations that provide health insurance coverage to employees, 94% include same-sex couples under the employee’s insurance policy.
Overall, the report indicates that respondents showed “broad familiarity with LGBT inclusion and a willingness to do more.”
According to Paul Guequierre, a Human Rights Campaign spokesman, the “Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI) is the very first step toward what we hope will be a sea change in the way that LGBT employees, volunteers, clients and members are included within Jewish communal organizations.”
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life