Warm and Welcoming: How the Jewish Community Can Become Truly Diverse and Inclusive in the 21st Century is the first book to tackle institutionalized biases and barriers to inclusion, offering not only stories and context about the issues facing Jews of all backgrounds, but more importantly offering practical and concrete advice that Jewish institutions can implement right away to change how they engage with diverse populations.
The book features 17 chapters written by some of the most knowledgeable individuals in the Jewish community around the areas of diversity and inclusion. From senior leaders in the field to young innovators who are helping to change the ways that Jewish institutions create community, Warm and Welcoming offers fresh perspectives, best practices, and new ideas to transform Jewish institutions regardless of their size, resources, or number of years in existence.
Warren Hoffman is executive director of the Association for Jewish Studies, the largest academic Jewish Studies membership organization in the world. He has spent his career working in Jewish communal agencies including JCCs and Federations to bring change, innovation, and new ideas to legacy organizations. Hoffman is author of two books: The Passing Game: Queering Jewish American Culture and The Great White Way: Race and the Broadway Musical. The Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia named Hoffman one of the “most influential Jews under 50” and the “Next Wave of Arts and Culture” in Philadelphia.
Miriam Steinberg-Egeth currently serves as the Strategic Manager for Hadar. Previously, she was the director of the Center City Kehillah, a collaboration of thirty organizations working together to bolster Jewish life in Philadelphia; the administrator for the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia; and a Hillel professional, working with both graduate and undergraduate students. She has been a consultant for institutions on community organizing, Jewish engagement, and professional networking, as well as an editor for organizational websites and public communications. She is a member of the Kenissa network and has trained with PresenTense and JOIN for Justice.
Foreword by Rabbi Sid Schwarz
Chapter 1 - LGBTQ Jews by Idit Klein
Chapter 2 - Interfaith Families by Jodi Bromberg
Chapter 3 - Jews of Color by Gamal Palmer
Chapter 4 - Disability Access and Inclusion by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
Chapter 5 - Millennials and Gen Z by Rebecca Bar
Chapter 6 - A New Model for Jewish Institutions by Rabbi Mike Uram
Chapter 7 - Arts and Culture Programming by Marilyn Levitch Hassid
Chapter 8 - Music by Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
Chapter 9 - Social Justice by Lauren Grabelle-Herrmann
Chapter 10 - Israel/Palestine by Rabbi Toba Spitzer
Chapter 11 - Education by Beverly Socher-Lerner
Chapter 12 - Minyans by Warren Hoffman
Chapter 13 - Dues and Fundraising by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
Chapter 14 - Marketing and Communication by Miriam Brosseau and Lisa Colton
Chapter 15 - (Almost) Everything Else by Miriam Steinberg-Egeth
About the Contributors
It’s clear from the first page that Hoffman and Steinberg-Egeth understand what is at stake in Jewish communities…. Warm and Welcoming is an invaluable resource for anyone who seeks to make meaningful change within the Jewish community. The book pays close attention to the latest statistics about Jewish engagement, especially the 2020 Pew Report. As many authors remind us, we are at an inflection point. With so many Jews questioning Jewish life, we cannot afford to create barriers to engagement. Being “warm and welcoming” isn’t just a community’s ideal, it is its actual lifeline. It is how it will survive. If one reads the book’s essays closely, discusses the authors’ recommendations, and attempts to implement them, one will find their community can grow not only more approachable but also more robust. Warm and Welcoming is the best kind of book; it is highly relevant but seeks to become obsolete if the recommendations are taken seriously.
12/16/21, Jewish Exponent: Steinberg-Egeth was interviewed about the book in this article.