HERE I AM
Jewish Leadership Through a Queer Lens
Hineni is a national, one-year Jewish leadership development fellowship that educates, inspires, and empowers LGBTQ professionals who are leaders in their fields to become change-makers and innovators in the Jewish community. Hineni alumni go on to seek and attain positions of volunteer engagement, impact, and influence in the Jewish community locally, nationally and globally.
Through two intensive retreats, webinars, and leadership projects, we provide fellowship participants with the essential leadership tools, core Jewish competencies, and inspiration to help change the Jewish world for the better.
About the Program
LGBTQ Jews are ready to take on leadership roles in the Jewish community. It's time for us to engage our truest, proudest selves in Jewish life, and to lead from our unique Jewish- queer perspectives. Thanks to years of hard work by lay leaders and professionals as well as organizations dedicated to LGBTQ inclusion, welcoming doors have started to open. Increasingly, Jewish organizations, Jewish outreach programs, Jewish Community Centers, synagogues and day schools are welcoming the active engagement of queer individuals in all aspects of their work.
We welcome these recent advances but recognize that much work still remains to be done.
There are still barriers to our taking our place as leaders, influencers, and change-makers in the Jewish community. Despite many inroads for LGBTQ inclusion, the Jewish community is still largely heteronormative and homogeneous, and this culture creates an environment that can make it difficult for us to rise to positions of lay and professional leadership.
The Jewish community has come far, but it’s time for a new approach to join with and build upon the essential and ongoing work of Jewish LGTBQ inclusion. It’s time to address some key questions:
In places in the Jewish community where the door has not begun to crack open or has just barely cracked open, how can we ensure that the future of the Jewish community for LGBTQ Jews is different from the past?
How can we help our inclusive and well-meaning communities truly integrate our presence, our leadership, and our unique Jewish- LGBTQ voices?
How can we build the kinds of Jewish communities that see us as equals, and a powerful collective voice for insight, creativity, innovation, and justice?
How can we, through our leadership and our example, teach the Jewish community about the power of inclusion of many previously marginalized groups?
How can our Queer perspectives benefit the “mainstream” Jewish community?
It’s time for us to shift the paradigm from within: sit on the boards, be the advisors, organizers, the inspirers, the innovators; the funders, and the change-agents.
The Hineni LGBTQ Fellowship Program gives us the empowerment, inspiration, and tools to come into a healthy and fulfilling relationship with our Judaism, our Jewish identity, and our Jewish knowledge. With these tools, not only are our lives enriched, but the Jewish community as a whole is enhanced by the unique strengths and gifts we can bring to change and evolve Judaism into the 21st century and beyond.
Join us for the learning and inspiration, leave with new purpose, new friends, and and community of like-minded queer Jews.
Through our ability to come out, to say “Hineni” “Here I am”--ready to be fully ourselves, and fully of service--we can create new worlds within Judaism.