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Oct 18, 2022

Federation Focuses on LGBTQ Equality With South Florida Keshet Leadership Project

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation was one of 17 local Jewish organizations, and among the four South Florida federations, that participated in the first-ever Florida Keshet Leadership Summit promoting LGBTQ inclusion, which took place at the end of August. Keshet Florida Education and Training Manager Tracey Labgold, who was instrumental in organizing the event, said, “For the South Florida federations to come together with their partner agencies sends a powerful message to the community about the importance of diversity and inclusion.” Keshet, a national nonprofit LGBTQ advocacy organization launched the initiative to educate and support Jewish organizations “to move toward LGBTQ equality and belonging.” A year-long investment in the program was initiated at the Summit with the goal, for those present, of making their organization a more inclusive environment for all. Federation representatives included Moj Khaghan Danial, Jewish Community Relations Council Chair; David Scharlin, DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Ambassador for the Elevate Leadership Committee; and Elizabeth Schwartz, Federation Board member and nationally recognized attorney and LGBTQ rights advocate.

Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael, Keshet National Director of Education, facilitated the Summit along with Labgold, who assisted with curriculum, recruitment and more. By the end of a full day of training, each organization had completed an Action Plan outlining the goals they had set for the coming year. Each group will continue to meet with Labgold every other month to assess progress, celebrate accomplishments and work through any sticking points.

“I am a firm believer in collaboration,” says Labgold, who believes the Keshet Leadership Summit was a huge success. “We brought together 17 Jewish organizations across the Tri-County area for a powerful day of learning how to best support all members of our Jewish community. The Jewish value kol arevim zeh b’zeh teaches us that we have a communal responsibility one for the other,” she reflects, “and until each of us finds our voice in the Jewish community, our work is not done.”

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