Request for proposals
The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender & Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN) is expanding its Welcoming Communities Project to help synagogues, schools, agencies, and entire communities become welcoming places for Gender and Sexually Diverse (GSD) Jews in both theory and practice. Our 10-month program guides your community through an intentional process to ensure that every Jew not only feels welcome in your community, but your community feels comfortable in welcoming all Jews.
Through the generous support of a funder, SOJOURN is offering an $8,000 subsidy towards a 10-month program tailored to the specific needs of your organization. The subsidy offsets the market price which ranges from $10,000 - $25,000, depending on size and situation. SOJOURN staff are also actively researching and submitting grant proposals to provide additional funding toward this project.
Please fill out and submit the online application here.
The application process opens October 1, 2018 and closes November 15. Applicants will be notified January 15. Projects begin in Spring 2019.
SOJOURN’s Welcoming Communities Project helps regional synagogues, schools, agencies, and entire communities become welcoming places for GSD (Gender and Sexually Diverse) Jews in both theory and practice.
Being welcoming is more than simply saying, “we’re welcoming.” Our 10-month program guides your community through the process to ensure that every Jew not only feels welcome in your community, but your community feels comfortable in welcoming them.
SOJOURN staff will work with your volunteer leaders, board members, staff, educators, and clergy in very specific areas, including:
Creating welcoming language for your website, marketing materials and by-laws
Reviewing administrative documents (membership) for inclusive language
Expanding and updating the agency’s non-discrimination policy
Conducting at least two community-wide seminars or educational workshops
Integrating inclusive language into worship content and educational curricula
Supporting equality efforts for GSD people outside of the agency
Affirming the synagogue’s clergy will perform life-cycle rituals for LGBT Jews
SOJOURN recognizes that each community is different and looks forward to tailoring the program to fit the needs and style of your congregation.
We understand that your community may have already taken some of these steps, met these criteria, or see yourselves as welcoming. We applaud the work that you have done and actively want to learn more about it. We have set these standards as a way to mark a certain level of commitment and work that we have identified as welcoming from all of our research and experience working with agencies. Achieving these benchmarks forms the basis for an official welcoming certification process. We also recognize that not every congregation is ready to embark on the journey toward certification as a Welcoming Community. Our focus is on starting the conversation, not ending it.