Friday, April 8, 2011

LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum

This Sunday I am honored to be teaching at Congregation Bet Simchat Torah, the largerst LGBTQ congregation in the world.

My workshop:

Helping educational leaders know their values, and then translating them to the curriculum in their programs. How do we make sure Jewish learning represents
our values?

That's the opening of the session I'll be leading with Ora Wise.

I'll use materials from Keshet that explore seven values:
1. Kavod: respect

2. Shalom Bayit: Peace in the Home

3. Bezelem Elokim: Made in God's Image

4. Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh
Communal responsbility

5. Shmirat Halashon
Guarding your tongue

6. Viahavta Lirayacha Kamocha

7. Al tifrosh min hatsibor
Don't separate yourself from your community...

My values: Make Jewish learning the space and the place where every individual is safe to come with their story and their questions. And if our curriculum or our materials contribute to someone feeling closed out, we need to pay attention. And then do some shared editing.

Without reservation, I say, that all of our families and networks of friends include LGBTQ folks.
So either educational leaders are comfortable closing their eyes and educational doors to them, or they are willing to work toward creating Jewish learning that welcomes, and values the very people who we love.