Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is honored to be ranked as inclusive in the newly-released Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) 2012 Jewish Organization Equality Index Report.
The Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOIE) surveyed the human resources side of Jewish organizations, as well as the activities of the organizations over an 18 month period. The first-ever HRC study indexing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) inclusion in a faith-based community, reviewed practices at over 200 Jewish nonprofit organizations in North America.
Hillel, along with 35% of the organizations surveyed, has a written anti-discrimination policy that includes "gender identity" or "gender identity expression."
"Inclusiveness of students and staff has long been a priority for Hillel. In fact, a group of Hillel professionals developed a LGBTQ resource guide (available for free at Hillel.org/LGBTQ) to help campuses and community members to reach out to and engage the LGBTQ Jewish student population," said Wayne L. Firestone, President and CEO of Hillel.
Former Hillel professional Paul Cohen adds, "Ten years ago, during the updating of Hillel's personnel code, local Hillel staff encouraged executive leadership to acknowledge the importance of full and equal benefits for domestic partners; thus Hillel became the first national Jewish organization to recognize and grant health insurance to the partners of LGBT staff."
The findings of the JOIE were announced by Keshet on November 11, 2012 at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in Baltimore, Maryland.
Paul Wojtal, President of Brown RISD Hillel's "Queer Hillel" club, shares, "When I came to college I wanted to be part of both the Jewish and queer communities, and I didn't think I would find a way to connect with both at once. It's been really motivating and empowering for me to find an organization like Hillel where you connect with both communities at the same time."