Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
J Leaders is focused on empowering the Jewish leaders of tomorrow and embracing the opportunity to reflect the fullness of Jewish identity and experience. Embracing individual differences and fostering equity is critical to our mission of inspiring, educating and serving our community.
J Leaders is committed to a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment where all stakeholders – fellows, faculty, staff, board members, participants, partners and donors – feel a sense of belonging regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, Jewish denomination, national origin, disability, language, political affiliation, socio-economic status, or any other aspect of their identity. We understand that success in this work demands attention to addressing systemic exclusion operating in both the Jewish community and the larger secular community. We know that honoring these differences lead to unique ways of thinking and approaching challenges—something we truly value as an inclusive community of leaders.
Consistent with J Leaders’ learn-by-doing philosophy, we are committed to modeling diversity, inclusion, and equity and maintaining fair and equal treatment. We recognize that the work of creating a just and equitable world will never be completed and yet know we are not free to desist from the work that must be done. We value honesty and self-reflection, and are committed to doing the hard work over the long run that is required for true institutional and personal change.
Our board’s commitments for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging include:
- Awareness & Education.
- We will strive to develop awareness for how diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging operates in our work for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.
- We promise to investigate underlying assumptions that interfere with our diversity policy.
- We commit to challenging commonly accepted notions about what constitutes strong leadership within our organization.
- We commit to board education around DEIB issues, including anti-racism.
- Action & Partnership.
- We aim to recognize and address inequities in our policies, programs, curriculum, recruitment and services.
- We commit to dismantling systemic inequities that impact our work at the board level and address it according to this policy and in accordance with our mission.
- We will dedicate our time and resources to expanding greater diversity within our board and leadership positions.
- We commit to leading with respect and tolerance and we encourage all employees and volunteers to express this in their work within our organization.
- Accountability & Measurement.
- We will update and document progress on our diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
- We commit to being transparent about diversity in all our interactions.
Our definitions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging will be ever-evolving, and this statement is undoubtedly the first of many versions, but we’re excited to have a starting point and a path forward.
J Leaders agrees to abide by the following action items to promote diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging in our work:
The Leadership Academy
- We will strive for Academy cohorts to at least reflect the demographic makeup of the Jewish community in which that cohort operates, not just in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and sexual orientation, but also as it relates to Jewish denomination.
- We will strive to have diverse representation among the Academy faculty.
- We will create learning opportunities around DEIB and inclusive leadership into the Academy cohorts with the goal of building a shared inclusive vocabulary, development of new skills, empower candid conversations and build a more inclusive Academy experience.
- We will ensure funding of the Jewish Leaders of Color Scholarship to encourage participation by outstanding fellows and faculty who are Jews of Color, regardless of financial need.
Forums & Programming
- We will strive to have diverse representation among the presenters for forums and other non-Academy programming.
- We will partner with other organizations within and outside the Jewish community who align with our DEIB commitments.
Board & Organization
- We will develop formal, transparent policies as we strive for cultural competency on the board, in programming and throughout our organization.
- We will commit to board education focused on building a shared vocabulary and holding ourselves accountable to DEIB practices in our board and committee work.
- We will develop a system to create awareness and address biases during our staff and board recruiting, hiring, and evaluating processes.
- We will strive to measure and document our work toward DEIB so that we can hold ourselves accountable and we’ll share our findings publicly on our website.
- We will take action to embed DEIB in our board, committee and leadership activities.
- We will develop internal resources that demonstrate our commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging and present them to our J Leaders community.