Director, Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (IJSO)
Dr. Joel L. Kushner is the first Director of the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. (http://www.huc.edu/ijso) He also heads the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center (JHVRC), an online learning environment with over 600 resources on the intersection of Judaism, sexual orientation and gender identity. The IJSO's mission is to achieve complete inclusion, integration and welcoming of LGBT Jews in congregations and communities.
Dr. Kushner consults with a variety of Jewish organizations, locally and nationally and frequently lectures across the country on LGBT inclusion and Judaism, homosexuality and the Bible, marriage equality, the needs of LGBT families in the Jewish community and other related topics. He sits on the National Religious Leadership Roundtable of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Advisory Board of the Human Rights Campaign's Faith and Religion Program, the Board of the LGBT Religious Archives Network and the Board of California Faith For Equality. He is the senior editor of Kulanu: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Inclusion Guide for Congregations published by the URJ Press.
The IJSO actively works to support marriage equality and co-produced a multi-faith video now seen on YouTube called "To Have and To Hold - Faith Leader Speak out on the Freedom to Marry." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3WZFZGN9DA In collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign and California Faith For Equality, the IJSO developed a major curriculum to increase inclusion and marriage equality advocacy for clergy which is being launched statewide in the fall of 2010.
The Institute is also currently working on a unique groundbreaking project to create an LGBT Welcoming Synagogue movement based on the needs and learnings of congregations of all Jewish denominations. The pilot program will begin in 2010 in synagogues across the country.
Dr. Kushner's education includes graduate degrees in counseling and clinical psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York and from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Dr. Kushner also holds certificates in Human Resources Management and in Critical Incident Stress Management.
- How to Create Inclusion in your Community
- Judaism and Homosexuality
- Leviticus 18:22
- Marriage Equality
- Gender Diversity in Judaism (Transgender issues)
- Educational Curriculum Integration on LGBT topics
- Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, New Brunswick, NJ
- Doctor of Psychology - Clinical Psychology - 1999
- Master of Psychology - Clinical Psychology - 1996
- Teachers College, Columbia University. New York, NY
- Master of Education - Psychological Counseling - 1987
- Master of Arts - Psychological Counseling - 1987
- Columbia College, Columbia University. New York, NY
- Bachelor of Arts - Psychology - 1985
- International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Ellicott City, MD
- CISM - Group Crisis Intervention - Basic and Advanced Level - 2004
- California State University, Long Beach, CA
- Human Resources Management - 2002
- New York State Office of Mental Health. Albany, NY
- Intensive Case Management - 1988
- Kushner, J.L. (1993). Manual for Clinical Supervision. Piscataway, NJ: Center for Applied Psychology.
- American Psychological Association, ASTD-LA