2022 Recipient: Idit Klein

Idit KleinIdit Klein, President and CEO of Keshet, honored with the 2022 Bernard Reisman Professional Excellence Award.

The Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University is pleased to announce Idit Klein as this year's recipient of the Bernard Reisman Award for Professional Excellence, and as the Commencement Speaker for the Hornstein graduating Class of 2022.

Established by the Hornstein Alumni Association and friends and colleagues of Bernard Reisman, Hornstein Director from 1969-1994, this award is presented each year at the Hornstein commencement ceremony to a professional who "has demonstrated innovative work and significant leadership... as well as a commitment to the standards of excellence, Jewish commitment and sensitivity to others as reflected by Bernard Reisman in his work."

"Idit Klein has modeled powerful and courageous leadership in the battle for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life, to the great benefit of the entire Jewish world," said Shirley Idelson, Leon A. Jick Director of the Hornstein Program. "Today, with LGBTQ rights once again under attack, it is more important than ever to recognize that progress made in recent decades did not just ‘happen,’—it was hard-won.

"We can credit Idit Klein, especially, for her pathbreaking work advancing LGBTQ equality, full social and legal recognition of LGBTQ families, support for LGBTQ youth, and an end to discrimination for all. Keshet, the organization she has built and led for over two decades, continues to provide invaluable tools for Jewish communities across the globe seeking to build inclusive cultures, effective programs, and just and compassionate policies. She has, without question, made Jewish life better in profound ways, and the Hornstein Program is honored to bestow on her the Bernard Reisman Award."

About Idit Klein

Idit Klein is a national leader for social justice with more than 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Since 2001, she has served as the leader of Keshet, which she built from a local organization with an annual budget of $42,000 to a national organization with a four-million-dollar budget. Under her leadership, Keshet has supported tens of thousands of rabbis, educators, and other Jewish community leaders to make LGBTQ equality a communal value and imperative. She also served as executive producer of Keshet's documentary film, Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School.

magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, Klein earned her Master’s in Education with a focus on social justice and anti-oppression education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She serves on the Leadership Team of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and the Advisory Board of the Safety Respect Equity Network. Klein has received numerous honors including a Women Who Dared award from the Jewish Women’s Archive, the Nachshon Award from Mayyim Hayyim, Jewish Women International’s Women to Watch award, and the Forward 50, a list of American Jews who have made enduring contributions to public life. She lives in Boston with her family.