Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation - IJSO (Member of the WCGLBTJ)
The mission of the IJSO is driven by Jewish religious values and the spiritual quest for holiness. With this foundation, and the knowledge that we are all b’tzelem elohim, created in the image of God. The IJSO seeks:
To achieve complete inclusion, integration and welcoming of LGBT people in congregations and communities.
To train and empower Jewish professionals, educate students, and support scholars and researchers in their quest to develop a theology and practice of inclusion.
To encourage dialogue between constituent organizations within the Reform movement on LGBT topics.
To foster collaboration with community based educational and social service organizations to further our mission.
To grow and make available our educational online presence, the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center (JHVRC), to the public and to add a new section on the JHVRC focusing on gathering and publishing LGBT liturgy and ritual.
To organize workshops and academic conferences and develop curriculum modules to be implemented within the HUC-JIR core curriculum.
The IJSO is unique in its place at the juncture of academia and professional training at the heart of the Reform movement’s educational matrix, where Jewish traditions and ethics combine in the spirit of social justice, holiness and community.
About the JHVRC
The Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center (JHVRC) for Sexual Orientation Issues in the Jewish Community is a web-based educational environment for all those interested in learning about Judaism, Sexual Orientation and Gender. It also contains multiple tools for creating open, inclusive communities for LGBT Jews and their families. In addition to a comprehensive listing of articles, texts, website, the JHVRC also features answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Judaism and the LGBT community, Case Studies exploring how issues of sexual orientation might be discussed in a Jewish context, and guides for studying biblical and rabbinic texts
The JHVRC was made possible by the generosity of Agnes and Rabbi Erwin Herman. The Virtual Resource Center is dedicated to the memory of their son Jeff Herman, who died of AIDS in 1992. The JHVRC continues the Herman’s life-long support for LGBT causes and their dedication to the Jewish community.
Joel L. Kushner
Director - IJSO
Please click here to visit IJSO online.