It is an interpretation that any Jewish child with a crayon can tell you: that the Star of David contains, within it, the triangle. For those of us...who would a generation ago have been wearing the pink triangle as a badge of shame and a mark of death...it is time to complete the outline of your Jewish star.
Let us learn that God's image is reflected in each and every face. Let us not add to our heartache by separating or by letting ourselves be separated from the Jewish people. As Jews, together, let us search through the Torah, the written Torah and the Torah of life, to find those affirmations for which we yearn.
Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler 'zl,
President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (1989)
The Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is a unique entity within the Jewish community with its explicit mission of preparing Jewish leadership with the capacity, compassion and skills to change congregational attitudes, policies, and, indeed, Jewish society so as to include each and every Jew, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. By encouraging dialogue on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues among the organizational arms of the Reform Movement in the United States, Israel and the rest of the world, as well as with local and national educational and social service organizations, the Institute will create a unique space where Jewish tradition, ethics and values combine in the spirit of social justice, holiness and community.
The mission of the Institute is driven by Jewish religious values and the spiritual quest for holiness. The Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity seeks:
To achieve complete inclusion, integration and welcoming of lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people in congregations and communities.
To train and empower Jewish professionals, educate students, and
support scholars and researchers in their quest to develop a theology and practice of inclusion.
To encourage dialogue between constituent organizations within the
Reform movement on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender topics.
To foster collaboration with community based educational and social
service organizations to further our mission.
To grow the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center (JHVRC) and develop
new resources including a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liturgy and ritual.
To organize workshops and academic conferences and develop curriculum
modules to be implemented within the HUC-JIR academic program.
The Institute is unique in its place at the juncture of academia and professional training at the heart of the Reform movement's educational matrix, where Jewish traditions and ethics combine in the spirit of social justice, holiness and community. It is also a responsibility that we plan to live up to.