The Leo Baeck Day School administration has created a Statement of Belonging to declare our commitment as a school to provide a respectful and inclusive environment for all. It is deeply rooted in our belief as Reform Jews that all people are valued, and created be’tzelem elohim, in the image of God.
These are not new ideas for us. We have been incorporating the idea of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity into our programs, policies and learning and creating an official statement is an important way to make these actions more intentional.
The Statement of Belonging is different from our Mission and Vision Statements, which include the goals that we have for students as they go through their formative years at Leo Baeck. This statement will provide guidance for us to create an environment to help ensure that students can be themselves and develop an appreciation and respect for differences of all kinds while staff and teachers are embraced for their unique contributions to the school.
It is important to define the three major ideas that are addressed in the statement: Inclusion, Diversity and Equity.
Inclusion – we see the differences that we all possess as positives and we strive to provide the support necessary for all to flourish.
Our goal is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and has the ability to contribute.
Diversity – we all possess unique characteristics, whether visible or not, and these contribute to who we are as people.
We are committed to ensuring that students are globally responsible in a diverse society. We want to encourage awareness of national and global history and civic engagement. Even within Judaism, there is a spectrum of backgrounds (and origins) and everyone is welcomed and valued here. This includes, but is not limited to, economic diversity, racial diversity, family make-up, gender expression, sexuality and many more.
Equity – we are committed to provide students and staff with what they need to succeed, and that is going to be different for each person, within the limitation of our resources. We provide a wide range of resources to support student success. We have a full Student Services department to evaluate, guide and provide accommodations to students on their learning journey as well as support their social-emotional needs.
You can check out Questions and Answers as they relate to the Statement of Belonging here.
by: Eric Petersiel RJE