The Task Force at the 2010 LGBT Jewish Movement-Building Convening

The Rev. Rebecca Voelkel and Beth Zemsky at the 2010 LGBT Jewish Movement-Building Convening. Photo by Brynna Fish.

This week, the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, the Task Force’s program director of the Institute for Welcoming Resources, and former board member Beth Zemsky, are meeting with nearly 50 Jewish leaders in Berkeley for the 2010 LGBT Jewish Movement-Building Convening.

The meeting of organizations and activists serving the LGBT Jewish community and advocating for diversity and inclusion in the Jewish world is the first of its kind.  Rebecca outlined what she sees as the goals of the weekend:

1.  Celebrate the successes and growth of the Jewish LGBT movement over the past decades.

2.  To share the knowledge about history and context of this work as it has evolved on a local and national level through organizations, community groups and the work of individuals.

3.  To assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges faced by the movement in its current state.

4.  To identify emerging needs and areas of potential coordination and collaboration.

5.  To identify strategies for leveraging the strenghths and expertise of orgs and individuals in pursuit of broad goals.

6.  To reduce intra-movement tensions and optimize working conditions.

7.  To forge a strategic vision to inspire and guide our actions over the next three years.

As part of the convening, Beth is providing leadership on movement-building and Rebecca is sharing lessons learned and best practices gleaned from her work in the pro-LGBT Christian movement.

The Task Force has a long history of organizing in the faith community. In 2006, the Institute for Welcoming Resources merged with and became a program of the Task Force. Within the Task Force, IWR is the home of faith outreach and works every day to achieve full acceptance and participation of all sexual orientations and gender identities in congregations around the country.