Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples. (Isaiah 56:7)
Congregation Shaare Emeth prides itself on being a warm and welcoming community. Our first core commitment states that we strive to be a diverse congregation that honors, celebrates and serves all people. In order to truly do this, members, clergy and staff have made a commitment to the values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
We strive to live out the Jewish value of b’tzelem Elohim, the belief that all people are created in the image of God and therefore deserving of honor and respect. Our diversity, the qualities that make us different and unique, are a blessing. We therefore strive to celebrate, support and honor all members and guests regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, religion, ability/disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education or marital status.
Equity is based in an understanding that all people do not have the same needs, experiences or opportunities, so to the best of our abilities we work to provide appropriate resources to allow all people to be able to participate in congregational life. Equity is not equality, not providing everyone with the same thing. Equity acknowledges diversity and, therefore, is about giving people what they need.
Inclusion means that we are actively working to make sure that the diverse voices of our membership are able to fully participate in congregational life.
As April Baskin, longtime advocate of Jewish diversity and inclusion, explains: “It takes humble commitment and discipline to override conscious and unconscious biases…. This requires consistent focus, innovative strategies, regular self-assessment, and doing the hard work of updating our institutions’ existing policies and programs to ensure inclusivity and equitability in today’s Jewish community.” This is the work that Congregation Shaare Emeth is committed to do.