The Alliance began in 1996 as the Gay and Lesbian Task Force of the Jewish Community Federation. The Task Force was comprised of over 30 LGBT Jewish leaders who explored the state of interactions between Federation and its local beneficiary agencies and the gay and lesbian community. The Task Force then made recommendations to the Federation’s board of directors for integrating the LGBT and Jewish communities. The Task Force, under the chairmanship of Alvin Baum, Jr., presented the Federation’s board with a clear vision entitled, Proposal from the Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
The “single most important felt need” stated in the Proposal from the Gay and Lesbian Task Force was “that Federation recognize gays and lesbians as an identifiable group with distinct needs.” The Federation acted on this need, and in 2001 the Task Force received a grant from the Jewish Community Endowment Fund; by December 2001, the LGBT Alliance began its efforts as a full-fledged division of the Jewish Community Federation. It is the first (and currently the only) dedicated LGBT full-time staff supported division of a Federation.
Review details of our formative years in this document published in April 2009.