Faculty and Staff Engage in Professional Development around Gender/LGBTQ+ Issues

The Brandeis mission and core values speak to a community that is welcoming and inclusive to all, one that treats everyone with empathy and compassion. As part of our commitment to being an empathetic and inclusive community, our faculty and staff have embarked this year on learning more about gender and LGBTQ+ issues, and how to integrate these important topics into student learning.
Earlier this year, faculty and staff participated in a two-part seminar led by Gender Spectrum, an organization with a mission of helping families and institutions increase their understandings of gender. Yesterday, faculty and staff participated in a professional development program led by Keshet, a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life. This training provided facultyand staff with the terms, language, and history of the LGBTQ+ community through a Jewish lens, and provided faculty and staff with resources for how to be allies within our community. Faculty and staff also had the opportunity to work with Keshet consultants in grade-level groupings, as well as one-on-one, to discuss questions and issues around these topics. Ultimately, this training provided everyone with a deep understanding of why this matters.
Teachers will be working over the coming months on integrating lessons around gender and LGBTQ+ issues into the curricula, and will continue to work with both the Keshet consultants as well as consultants from Our Family Coalition. Keshet will also be working with our sixth grade students this spring in a pilot program designed to teach them the terms, language, and history of the LGBTQ+ community through a Jewish lens.