Idit Klein is a national leader for social justice with more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Since 2001, she has served as the founding Executive Director of Keshet, the leading organization for LGBTQ equality and inclusion in the Jewish community. Idit built Keshet from a local organization with an annual budget of $42,000 to a national organization with an annual budget of over $3 million. Under her leadership, Keshet has supported tens of thousands of rabbis, educators, and other Jewish leaders to make LGBTQ equality a communal value and institutional imperative. Idit also spearheaded the creation of leadership development programs for queer Jewish teens and mobilized Jewish communities to help defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and pass two transgender rights bills in Massachusetts. In addition, she served as the Executive Producer of Keshet’s documentary film, “Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School.”
Prior to leading Keshet, Idit was a leader in the LGBTQ community in Israel and helped envision the Jerusalem Open House. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, Idit earned her Master’s in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a focus on social justice and anti-oppression education. She serves on the board of JOIN for Justice and the Leadership Team of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable to strengthen the Jewish social justice movement. Idit was honored by the Jewish Women’s Archive with a “Women Who Dared” award and selected for the Forward 50, a list of American Jews who have made enduring contributions to public life.
Pursuing Inclusion: Idit Klein discusses how she built the organization from the ground up and how our Jewish institutions have evolved over time in their culture, programming, and outlook in how they adapt to the changing gender identity environment.