We are very excited to announce the release of the Human Rights Campaign’s Jewish Organization Equality Index! It is HRC’s first-ever survey of inclusion within a faith-based community and the nonprofit sector.
Together with The Morningstar Foundation and Stuart Kurlander, we engaged HRC—the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization—to create a preliminary snapshot of how a broad range of Jewish organizations—from national umbrella and advocacy groups to local nonprofits and synagogues—address LGBT diversity and inclusion. For more than a decade, HRC has done a similar Index in the corporate and healthcare sectors.
Our goal is to push the Jewish community to prioritize inclusion of LGBT members, clients, employees and volunteers into communal organizations.
The Index shows that in some areas, the Jewish community has been progressive in addressing LGBT equality. In fact, 50% of the 204 organizations that participated received the top score in the Index. By contrast, the first year of HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates Fortune1000 companies on inclusion for LGBT employees, only 13 organizations of the 319 rated—or 4%—received the highest score.
But the findings also highlight significant opportunities for improvement, especially in the areas of employee recruitment and training. For example:
- 79% of participating organizations expressed they have not targeted the LGBT community in workplace recruitment efforts;
- 75% have not specifically recruited LGBT individuals to their lay leadership board in the past three years (often cited as a significant contributor to increased awareness about inclusive policies); and
- 59% have not completed any diversity or inclusion training in the past three years.
More work is needed to understand how representative these findings are across the broader Jewish communal sector. However, it is clear that we need to prioritize this issue as a community if we truly want to create a vibrant Jewish future in which all Jews can feel pride of place.
We hope the Index will provide a starting point for a broader dialogue on this front.
To that end, timed to coincide with the release of the report, we have joined with Keshet—the national grassroots organization that works for the full inclusion and equality of LGBT Jews in Jewish life—to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion and provide tools for action.
The report also contains a number of resources, including a checklist of 14 steps organizations can take to be more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT families, couples and individuals, and an assessment of organizations’ cultural competency in delivering services to the LGBT community.
We hope you will join us in sharing the report and resources far and wide. Our goal is to get them into the hands of people like you who drive change within our communal organizations. Imagine the power if we all do something!
Need some ideas to get started? Here are 10!
- Download and share the report and infographics with your board, colleagues and network.
- Share this blog post—or write your own! Remember to include a link to the #JLGBT Tumblr.
- Sign the anti-bullying pledge, and get your friends and organizations to do it!
- Share sample non-discrimination policies—specifically mentioning sexual orientation and gender identity and expression—with organizations that do not yet have one in place. Find sample Statements of Inclusion on the #JLGBT Tumblr.
- Sign up for one of Keshet’s diversity and inclusion trainings.
- Tweet using the hashtag #jlgbt. Find sample Tweets on the #JLGBT Tumblr.
- Change your Facebook cover photo for a day … or two or three or more … and add a Twibbon to your profile picture Find some options on the #JLGBT Tumblr.
- Share some memes via Facebook and Twitter. Remember to use the hashtag #jlgbt.
- If you belong to an organization listed in the report, send an email thanking them for participating and asking how you can support next steps.
- If you belong to organization that did not participate, organize a meeting with the leadership and fellow community members to discuss how you will use these findings to advance inclusion within the organization.
We think this is a beautiful moment to share a message of inclusivity and to show how the Jewish community is committed to raising the bar in the faith-based world. Will you join us?