Schusterman Foundation Reaches Out to LGBT Jewish Community
July 15, 2010
The following post was submitted by Joanna Blotner, HRC’s Religion and Faith Program Coordinator:
Lynn Schusterman, chairwoman of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and an influential leader in the realms of Jewish philanthropy and social justice, recently announced a new initiative for the foundation that is focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion within the Jewish community. Lynn invited fellow Jewish organizations to join her in adopting and supporting LGBT inclusive employment practices. As an active member of the Jewish community I was filled with pride and esteem for the Schusterman Foundation’s tremendous commitment to equality; never before has a religious-based philanthropy taken such a bold stand for LGBT people and, for me, it is heartening to see my faith community lead the way.
The Schusterman Foundation’s inclusion initiative has sparked more than just pride within the Jewish community; it has also sparked an important debate regarding the role of religious liberties within the religious community. Openly gay Orthodox Rabbi Steven Greenberg has shared with the Human Rights Campaign his essay addressing how the values of religious liberty and non-discrimination policies can co-exist in the faith-based sector – liberal and traditional, Jewish and non-Jewish – as the Schusterman Foundation envisions.
- Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform Movement’s seminary, also offers a compelling Plea for Inclusion and Religious Liberty on LGBT Rights.