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LGBT Organizations Launch Jewish Curriculum for Faith Leaders

Date: 
August 28, 2014

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National LGBT Rights Organizations Launch 
First-Of-Its-Kind Jewish Curriculum for Faith Leaders

New Resource to Help Jewish Faith Leaders with Creating A Welcoming Community for LGBT people

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 28, 2014 —Today, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources, Keshet, COLAGE, and Family Equality Council released a curriculum designed to help Jewish congregations support and embrace lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members and their families. Titled "Kol B’mishpachat Elohim / All in God's Family: A Jewish Guide for Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families," the multimedia curriculum provides tools to support Jewish congregations in their efforts to create inclusive institutions for LGBT people and their families.

"Our work to secure basic rights and full equality for LGBT people has advanced thanks to the commitment and compassion of our faith leaders and communities of faith,” says David Lohman, Faith Work Faith Resource Manager at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “For people of faith, their religious community is the bedrock of their work for fairness, justice, and equality. We believe that LGBT people and their families deserve the same love and honor as all of God’s beloved families. This curriculum will help congregations extend God’s extravagant welcome to all of God’s families — particularly LGBT families."

"Kol B’mishpachat Elohim” includes concrete tools to help leaders, including a step-by-step guide to supporting LGBT families of faith, and frameworks for facilitating group learning, community dialogue, text-study, and community action planning to highlight LGBT families in our communities. Additionally, the curriculum utilizes "Families Like Mine," a book about adults with LGBT parents written by Abigail Garner, whose father is gay; the youth-produced documentary "In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents"; and a phototext exhibit “That’s So Gay: Portraits of Youth with LGBT Parents."

"LGBT families are a part of every Jewish community," says Idit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet. "We are thrilled to make this new resource available together with our partners and look forward to seeing our families embraced and honored. Full inclusion makes a community stronger and more vibrant for all of us."

"Finding a welcoming and inclusive faith community is a priority for some LGBTQ parents," says Gabriel Blau, Executive Director of Family Equality Council. "And that can be difficult in many regions of our country, even today. Although these parents may want to raise their children in a community that shares their values and beliefs, they also want their children to be embraced. That’s why we partnered to put together 'Kol B’mishpachat Elohim.' We know that there are increasing numbers of congregations out there that want to welcome our families and we want to give them any tools that we can to do so more fully."

"For youth and adults with LGBTQ parents, finding a faith community where your family is respected and reflected can be a challenge," says Meredith Fenton, COLAGE program director. "COLAGE is pleased to be a partner on 'Kol B’mishpachat Elohim' and invites your faith community to use these tools to move beyond acceptance to full inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ families."

The curriculum is free and available online at: www.WelcomingResources.org.

About the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR) works to support the unconditional welcome of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and their families in the faith community of their choice, and to empower them to work for justice in church and society. IWR works with almost 5,000 congregations worldwide that welcome and affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. www.welcomingresources.org.

About Keshet
Keshet is a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender 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. Keshet is guided by the vision of a world in which all Jewish organizations and communities are strengthened by LGBT inclusive policy, programming, culture, and leadership and where Jews of all sexual orientations and gender identities can live fully integrated Jewish lives. www.keshetonline.org

About COLAGE
COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer parents. We build community and work toward social justice through leadership development, youth empowerment, education and advocacy. www.colage.org.

About the Family Equality Council
Family Equality Council® is the national expert on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) parents and their families. We promote lived and legal equality for the three million LGBTQ parents and their six million children in the United States today. We foster supportive communities, educate the public, and pursue policy change to advance true equality for these LGBTQ-headed families across the country. For more information, please visit www.familyequality.org.