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The Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is the first and only institute of its kind in the Jewish world. It is unique in its place at the juncture of academia and professional training at the Jewish Reform Movement's seminary.
The Institute was founded in 2000 to help educate HUC-JIR students on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, on how to challenge and eliminate homophobia and heterosexism and to learn tools to be able to transform the communities they encounter into ones that are inclusive and welcoming of LGBT Jews.
Over time, this mission of education and the creation of welcoming spaces has expanded to the larger community outside the walls of our four campuses in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, New York and Jerusalem. The Institute offers consultation to individual professionals, synagogues and organizations as well as seminars and workshops at HUC-JIR and at local, national and international conferences. The Institute also provides scholarships for rabbinic, cantorial, education and communal service students to work in LGBT settings.