The purpose of this Guide is to reduce harm to LGBT+ young people in the Jewish community. Designed with practical application in mind, the Guide is split into clear chapters and appendices that cover:
- The challenges that can be faced by some young people who might be struggling to reconcile their LGBT+ and Jewish identity
- The use of appropriate language, and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
- How to provide pastoral support to LGBT+ young people
- A review of equalities legislation and schools' inspection criteria
- A glossary of current LGBT+ terminology
- How to have supportive conversations with LGBT+ young people
In the Guide, Chief Rabbi Mirvis describes the religious imperative for Orthodox Jews to safeguard the well-being of LGBT+ people, categorising it as an ‘absolute obligation’. The significance of the content therefore goes beyond schools. By rooting the work in traditional Jewish texts, this work also lays the groundwork for how LGBT+ people should be treated by Jews in religious communal, professional, social settings and beyond. To our knowledge, this is the first document of its kind anywhere in the world and is particularly remarkable for having been produced by the Chief Rabbi together with LGBT+ Jews.
Commenting on this landmark guide, executive director Dalia Fleming said, “KeshetUK is proud to have worked closely with Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Jewish LGBT+ people to create ‘The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils: A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Schools’. KeshetUK now looks forward to working with schools, rabbis and educators across Jewish communities, supporting them to implement this guide so they can ensure all their students reach their potential, free from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, discrimination and fear.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said, “This is a document which I believe is an extremely significant milestone and will have a real and lasting impact on reducing harm to LGBT+ Jews across the Orthodox Jewish community. Our children need to know that at school, at home and in the community, they will be loved and protected regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.”
To find out more about this work and to download the guide - please click here.