The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN), the premiere resource for Jewish and LGBTQ+ programming, education, and advocacy in the Southern U.S., exceeded their goal to raise $15,000 through Give OUT Day, the only national day of giving for the LGBTQ+ community.
In addition to raising just under $17,000, SOJOURN placed third nationwide for unique donors in the category of medium-sized nonprofits, earning an additional prize of $2,500 supported by the Horizons Foundation. SOJOURN also received a generous matching contribution from The Zaban Foundation, doubling donor impact.
Rose Kantorczyk, SOJOURN’s communications associate, explained the work that the organization does and how their services impact the community.
“SOJOURN’s programs aim to provide Jewish communities in the South the tools that they need to empower and support the LGBTQ+ community, which is especially important given the current legislative environment in our states. Queer and trans youth are seeing their states attacking their rights to access medical care, see themselves reflected in their school curriculum, or even be acknowledged as themselves. Jewish communities have a role to play in supporting the LGBTQ+ members of their community amid this hostile environment but might face opposition or just not know where to start.”
Kantorczyk then shared about how the funds that were raised will be utilized.
“Some of SOJOURN’s programs include GSD 101, a one-session program that teaches about gender and sexual diversity through a Jewish lens; Welcoming Communities, a 12-18 month program where our staff works in-depth with Jewish organizations on their policies, programs, and culture for LGBTQ+ welcoming and celebration; and Early Development for Gender Equity, a program about gender norms and inclusive expressions of identity for Jewish professionals who work with young children. The Give OUT Day funds will go towards bringing these programs to more places across the South and allow us to offer them at accessible price points for the Jewish communities that want and need them.”
Since 2013, Give OUT Day has helped hundreds of grassroots nonprofits raise millions of dollars from tens of thousands of individual donors. Spanning all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico, these organizations support all facets of the LGBTQ community — from groups specifically supporting LGBTQ mental health care and people of color, to those focused on legal rights and the arts.
“LGBTQ+ people need to be able to picture a full, joyful, Jewish future for themselves, and Jewish community leaders need the logistical and spiritual tools to help them do that. At its core, that’s what SOJOURN’s programming is all about,” Kantorczyk said.
Give OUT Day is organized by Horizons Foundation, which provides the technology platform, training, and resources to participating organizations at no cost.