“When the Foundation took an interest in Keshet’s mission, they empowered us to articulate a vision of Jewish life in which equality and inclusivity is a desired reality in every Jewish community. The Jewish community often talks about the values of justice and human rights, and with the Schusterman Foundation’s backing, we’ve pressed the Jewish world to make good on our core values.
“We were still a small Boston-based organization with a nascent national reach when the Foundation began to invest in us. Their support allowed us to scale our message, presence and vision. Over the years, we’ve been empowered to create change in the Jewish community and in its discourse.
“Throughout her involvement in Keshet, Lynn’s leadership has been particularly inspiring. To have Lynn Schusterman, a straight and very prominent Jewish philanthropist, say, ‘This is something I and my foundation stand for,’ has paved the way for other philanthropists to see LGBT inclusion as a communal priority.
“We're not yet at the point where LGBT issues are fully embraced as a Jewish communal priority, but we're seeing unprecedented levels of change. For the first time, Jewish summer camps are training staff to ensure a safe and welcoming climate for LGBT kids. Jewish youth movements are articulating a commitment to stamping out anti-gay bullying. In 2010, BBYO teen leadership endorsed Keshet's anti-LGBT bullying pledge and reached out to the heads of the other Jewish youth groups and successfully lobbied them to sign on as well. It was the first time major Jewish youth groups came together on any issue and to me, it was noteworthy that LGBT equality is what inspired them to come together.
“At Federations, JCCs and synagogues, there's increased attention to issues of inclusion, as well as a desire to send a message to LGBT Jews that says, ‘We see you, we value you and we are dedicated to incorporating your experiences.' These stories are inspiring to me and the LGBT community, and I attribute them in large part to the Foundation's investment, vision and leadership.”
Read more about our work in Inclusivity