Board Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Justice (DEJ)

We value the broad range of insight, perspectives, and experiences brought by people from diverse backgrounds. We specifically invite the voices of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian people, LGBTQ+, gender non-conforming individuals, and those with disabilities, who are so often left out of conversations, planning sessions, and participatory activities, and have so much to contribute.

We commit to working with others who share our goals, advocate policies – in both the private and public sectors – that promote diversity, equity, and justice, and challenge systems and policies that uphold inequity, disparity, and oppression.

The Board and Professionals participating in JWFNY activities will:

  • strive to apply and align diversity, equity, and justice principles and practices to our vision and mission both for our own benefit and the benefit of those we serve, always looking to expand these commitments;
  • aim to recognize and address inequities in our policies, programs, and services, investigating and correcting underlying assumptions that interfere with our diversity policy;
  • challenge common barriers to leadership within our organization including, but not limited to, those that have financial, racial, ethnic, and other sources;
  • create a culture of respect and encourage all employees and volunteers to express this in their work within our organization and as they represent our work in the greater community; and
  • commit to being transparent about diversity in all of our interactions.

To achieve these goals and objectives, the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York will take specific steps including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • ensure Black, Indigenous, Latino, and Asian people, LGBTQ+, gender non-conforming individuals, and those with disabilities have a seat and voice at all tables—Board, Committees, Visionary Circles, The Collective, and the broader network—and create working affinity groups for them where appropriate;
  • develop a system to create awareness and address biases during our recruiting, hiring, and evaluating processes including transparency about the salary range and benefits for posted job descriptions;
  • train our personnel to be responsible for orienting, onboarding, and training our staff and volunteers on equitable practices, develop further resources and new learning opportunities for this work, and update and document progress on our diversity, equity, and justice practices; and
  • commit to ensuring that all public-facing programs have a broad representation of the Jewish community in the speakers chosen.

As we honor this vision and put these principles into practice, we aim to create a stronger, more just, and effective version of ourselves. By the end of 2023, our staff will reflect some of the diversity we believe in, and every member of our staff will have had appropriate DEJ training, urging them to regularly evaluate and critique our progress on these issues. Their ability to do this will be one of the parameters along which we evaluate their performance.

We will have a more diverse board, and we will be clear that we seek board members who are not only from different backgrounds but also bring different perspectives on the work we are doing and planning. We will strive to honor discussion, debate, and difference and maintain a climate that encourages and respects productive discomfort.

When we onboard board members, volunteers, lay participants in programs like our Visionary Circles, we will spend time reviewing our values and commitments. We will encourage questions and strive in our ongoing discussions to make it clear that our work is driven by our commitment to racial justice and our belief in maximum diversity are preeminent.

We will continue to choose members of our cohorts and, accordingly, the organizations we help to support with this same commitment to diversity. We will be explicit about these choices and encourage discussion at all levels about the benefits of creating diverse and inclusionary cohorts because we understand that reflecting and advancing the fullest diversity in our community is a preeminent goal for us and for the future of the Jewish community.