Community of Welcoming Congregations

TBI joins the Community of Welcoming Congregations (CWC)

In December 2005 the TBI Board unanimously voted to join Community of Welcoming Congregations (CWC). This was a natural evolution of our synagogue’s warm and successful movement in being a welcoming congregation.

In the not distant past, Temple Beth Israel, like so many other religious organizations, was neither welcoming nor active in challenging negative attitudes towards gays and lesbians. Through over two years of the successful work by clergy leadership and an ad hoc committee devoted to making TBI a welcoming congregation, Temple Beth Israel made a major turnaround. In a full congregational retreat about 12 years ago, a survey of congregants’ priorities revealed that 97% wanted TBI to focus on being a welcoming congregation.

Now GLBTQ folks have become integrated congregants, functioning on all levels of TBI organization at one time or another. For us, being welcoming is now taken for granted. But this is not true for the rest of the Eugene community or thestate.

The Community of Welcoming Congregations is an Oregon and southwest Washington interfaith association of religious and spiritual congregations that welcome, affirm, and promote people of all sexual orientations, and encourage congregations to become welcoming. In Portland, five other Jewish organizations have already become members. TBI’s joining demonstrates our values, and recognizes that this work must go on actively throughout the state.