Today is August 22, 2017 /

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Inclusion

Inclusion

Inclusion Committee – LGBTQ Initiatives

The Mission of the LGBTQ Inclusion Committee is to evaluate, develop and recommend to the Board of Trustees policies and procedures concerning the inclusion and participation of people within the LGBTQ community, in all areas of Congregation Kol Ami religious and communal life.  It is our goal to maintain a safe space in our synagogue for all LGBTQ Jews and to provide education for those looking to learn and grow with regard to this community.

Integrating LGBTQ inclusion into our synagogue’s fabric is of utmost importance, as is our desire to ensure dignified documentation, signage and wording on our forms and flyers to be inclusive of all individuals.  Our leadership and educators are aware of inclusive practices to use, as well as the intent to create educational opportunities to further their progression in the area.

  • On October 10, 2014 at our erev Shabbat service we celebrated National Coming Out Day, the anniversary of the October 11, 1987 march on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. We welcomed member Jane Tausig to the bimah to speak about this anniversary and its meaning for our congregation and the Jewish community.
  • On December 7, 2014, we hosted a community-wide conference, Kindness Counts: Welcoming LGBTQ Jews and Their Loved Ones into the Mishkan, with keynote speaker Joanna Ware, associate director of national programs at Keshet; a leading organization dedicated to working for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews in all aspects of Jewish life.
  • On November 13, 2016, we co-hosted with J.Proud, Kindness Counts Bet, Moving Beyond the Gender Boxes, Embracing Transgender and Non-Binary Jews, Their Loved Ones and Allies in the Miskan. This was our second conference on inclusion with informative workshops and an afternoon of learning and dialogue.
  • We are one of the founding members of the Philly Cohort for LGBTQ Inclusion in Jewish spaces in connection with Keshet dedicated to the future of inclusion.

We are also pleased to announce that the The Belin Award Selection Committee chose our synagogue as one of the 2017 award winners.  This award recognizes Audacious Hospitality from URJ congregation in North America that demonstrate a high level of inclusion, impact, innovation and replicability.  Our program, Kindness Counts Bet: Moving Beyond the Gender Boxes, Embracing Transgender and Non-Binary Jews, their Loved Ones and Allies in the Mishkan was an award-winning example of how a community can engage and welcome people in thoughtful and creative ways.  Our synagogue will be publicly recognized for this achievement at the 2017 URJ Biennial in Boston Massachusetts.

Inclusion Committee – Special Needs

This committee evaluates, develops and recommends to the Board of Trustees policies and procedures concerning the inclusion and participation of all people, regardless of physical, cognitive, emotional or behavioral ability, in all areas of Congregation Kol Ami religious and communal life.