Trans Jews are Here

Trans Jews are Here 2021 Convening

Wednesday, March 31 - Trans Day of Visibility

We are thrilled to announce that the recordings from the convening are now available! For those who couldn’t’ make it, or just want to revisit the rich and profound day of programming, we invite you to click here to access a playlist featuring all the recordings from the day-of (keep in mind some programs were intentionally not recorded to respect the wishes of program leaders and participants), as well as two other programs we hosted leading up to the convening – Poetry at CBST: Joy Ladin in Conversation with Ariel Zitny and Two Dads Talking About Talking About Gender with S. Bear Bergman and Rabbi Mike Moskowitz.

Thank you for considering a contribution at your discretion to support Trans & Non-Binary programming at CBST. Your support is essential to helping us continue to provide the vital and profound programming that we are proud to create here at CBST!

The Trans Jews are Here 2021 Convening took place on Trans Day of Visibility - Wednesday, March 31, 2021. In 2019, the first Trans Jews are Here convening brought together trans and non-binary Jewish individuals, including some of our very own spiritual leaders, artists, educators, performers, and more, to celebrate and explore the intersection of transgender identity and Jewish life. 

Contribute to support the convening and Trans Jews are Here programming! 

The 2021 convening was fully online, with a full day of trans, Jewish - focused programming ranging from ritual to art to education and more. There was also an allyship track for cisgender friends, family, and community members to participate and learn. View the full schedule here!

Registration was offered free of charge to ensure ease of participation for all, however we do encourage an additional contribution at your discretion to support the convening and ongoing trans & non-binary programming at CBST! 

Convening Merchandise - Order Now!
We're so excited to reveal our official Trans Jews are Here 2021 Convening merchandise, including a t-shirt, matzah cover, frosted-glass mug / Kiddish cup for the Pesach Seder, and event poster, all featuring art by nonbinary artist Jess Nora (they/she; their/her). 

Workshop Proposals
The deadline for submitting a proposal has passed. We received so many truly amazing proposals - thank you to everyone who submitted or helped to spread the word!

Organizational Sponsors, Partners, & Institutional Allies
CBST is honored to have had the support of our organizational sponsors and partners who have helped to make this program happen. For a full list of convening sponsors and partners, click here

"Freedom of Living Truth" shows the liberating experience of a trans person accepting their true self. Just as the Red Sea waters parting brought great relief and hope for the future to the Jewish People as they left the land of Egypt, so is the ability to be one's true self in the world. On Trans Day of Visibility, we celebrate those who are able to live life as their true self as we also push for more spaces to be truly safe for Trans folks to come out. We raise our voices in song, timberal in our hands as Miriam did, celebrating the freedom to be our authentic self.

Jess Nora (they/them) is a disabled, non-binary, Jewish artist and art activist who uses their art to help bring attention to commonly dismissed and often painful realities that are so commonly overlooked by society. You can find more of Jess Nora's work at JessicaNora.com or @JessicaNoraArtist on instagram and facebook.


Trans Jews are Here 2021 Convening Sponsors & Partners

CBST is honored to have had the support of our organizational sponsors and partners who helped make this program happen. 

Convening Sponsors 


Platform Sponsor


Communications Sponsors 




Workshop Sponsors




Attendee Sponsors


Organizational Partners












Programs from our Sponsors & Partners

Meeting banner
Trans Day of Visibility: A Talk With Michaela Michaelson - Register Here
Mar 31, 2021 06:30 PM (Pacific Time)
Congregation Kol Ami is honored to have The Trevor Project Board Member and a Trans Can Work Founder, Michaela Michaelson, with us on Transgender Day of Visibility.

CBST Programs

Emet: Trans & Non-Binary Team Meeting
The first Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm (ET)
CBST maintains space (currently online!) for transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and gender-expansive people to build community and engage politically at CBST. Emet welcomes people who are questioning. Sign up for Emet Team updates here or contact transjews@cbst.org for more info. Emet will meet on the first Thursday of each month to learn together with Ze'evi Berman (they/them or ze/zem/zer), CBST’s Guest Cantorial Student, and Ariel Zitny (he/they) Convening Director.

WATCH Two Dads Talking About Talking About Gender
Monday, March 8, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Join S. Bear Bergman and Rabbi Mike Moskowitz as they engage in an honest discussion on gender, from the perspective of parenthood. Zoom info will be sent to registrants the day of the program by 5pm. Auto-captioning will be available for this program! Register here.

S. Bear Bergman is an author, storyteller, educator and the founder and publisher of children’s book publisher Flamingo Rampant, which makes feminist, culturally-diverse children’s picture books celebrating LGBT2Q+ kids and families. He writes creative non-fiction for grown ups, fiction for children, resolutely factual features for various outlets, the advice column Asking Bear, and was the co-editor (along with Kate Bornstein) of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. These days he spends most of his time making trans cultural competency interventions any way he can and trying to avoid stepping on Lego. His forthcoming book is SPECIAL TOPICS IN BEING A HUMAN, from Arsenal Pulp in the fall of 2021.


WATCH Poetry at CBST: Joy Ladin in Conversation with Ariel Zitny
Dr. Joy Ladin in conversation with Trans Jews are Here Convening Director Ariel Zitny on poetry and more, hosted by CBST on Monday evening, February 1, 2021.

Joy Ladin, Ph.D. is a teacher, widely published essayist and poet, literary scholar, and nationally known speaker on transgender issues. In fall 2019, Keshet recognized her work with a Hachamat Lev award. In April 2020, she began a weekly conversation show, “Containing Multitudes,” discussing identity, religion, and literature with a wide-range of guests (recordings available at the link above). For recent and selected videos of talks and readings, including her TEDx talk, “Ain’t I a Woman?“, and her “On Being” interview with Krista Tippett, click here.



Welcome Ze’evi Berman and Ariel Zitny!

CBST is pleased to welcome Ze'evi Berman (above, left; pronouns: they/them or ze/zem/zer) and Ariel Zitny (above right; pronouns: he/him/they/them) to our community for various projects. Ariel and Ze’evi will be leading a three-session Lehrhaus class in late December 2020 / early January 2021. Ze'evi will serve as Guest Cantorial Student at a few select services. Ariel and Ze'evi will also be working with CBST’s Emet: Trans & Non-Binary Team. Ariel is the Convening Director for the Trans Jews Are Here 2021 Convening on Trans Day of Visibility, March 31, 2021. 

Ze'evi Berman (they/them or ze/zem/zer) is a fourth-year student at HUC-JIR working toward a masters in Jewish education and cantorial ordination. With roots in song leading and music education, Ze'evi believes in the power of communal music and prayer to create social change. As one of the first trans cantorial students at HUC-JIR, ze works toward expanding the vision of our collective future to encompass those who have been routinely marginalized in Jewish life. Ze'evi currently lives in LA with zer fiance Ariel and their two cats. 

Ariel Zitny (he/they) is a queer/trans rabbinical and education student at the Reform seminary, Hebrew Union College. Ariel has received a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He’s passionate about poetry, feminism, and cats. When he’s not working, studying, or thinking of ways to make Judaism more trans-inclusive, he enjoys watching Netflix and baking with his fiance Ze'evi and their two cats.

Emet: Trans & Non-Binary Team
CBST maintains space (currently online!) for transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and gender-expansive people to build community and engage politically at CBST. Emet welcomes people who are questioning. 

Want to stay in touch about trans and non-binary Jewish programming at CBST? Contact us at transjews@cbst.org!

Proceeds from these ritual items support trans and non-binary programming at CBST, including the Trans Jews Are Here Convening. 

CBST offers a specially designed Trans Pride Mezuzah Cover. This original piece of Judaica is adorned with the colors of the Transgender Pride Flag and is meant to celebrate and promote the visibility of our trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming Jewish friends and family. For more info and to place an order, click here.

In celebration of Trans Day of Visibility 2020, CBST offered a custom Trans Pride Kiddush Cup created through a partnership with Israeli Judaic Art designer Yair Emanuel. Please note this item is out of stock, so we are not currently accepting orders. For more information click here or email Jkatz@cbst.org


Trans Jews Are Here! Read more about the History of Inclusion at CBST

2019’s Trans Jews are Here Convening ​

The Trans Jews are Here convening brought together trans and non-binary Jewish individuals, including some of our very own spiritual leaders, artists, educators, performers, and more, to celebrate and explore the intersection of transgender identity and Jewish life. Here is a selection of the material from the weekend: 

The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, Joy Ladin

Reading some of the best-known Torah stories through the lens of transgender experience, Joy Ladin explores fundamental questions about how religious texts, traditions, and the understanding of God can be enriched by transgender perspectives, and how the Torah and trans lives can illuminate one another. Available for purchase online and on site at CBST. You can find more of Joy's work on her website, or watch the video of her conversation with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz at CBST in February 2019.


TransTorah helps people of all genders to fully access and transform Jewish tradition, and helps Jewish communities to be welcoming sanctuaries for people of all genders. Visit their website for more information and resources including blessings for transitioning gender, chest binding, trans and gender non-conforming weddings, pre-surgery mikveh ritual, and more.

Trans Day of Remembrance - 'A Memorial Prayer' by Rabbi Reuben Zellman

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz

From his perspective as an Orthodox scholar and rabbi and committed ally to the trans world, here at CBST, Rabbi Moskowitz studies, writes, and teaches on trans issues and Jewish sources, creating a body of work that Jews all over the world will be able to use. He represents CBST, speaking and teaching on these topics in other communities. Email Rabbi Moskowitz at rabbimoskowitz@cbst.org and read some of his teaching below:

For more articles and resources from Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, visit his website or CBST page.

Trans Day of Remembrance 

On November 20, 2020 we observed Trans Day of Remembrance, a sacred day in which we honor the memory of our trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming family and friends that we have lost to acts of anti-transgender violence.

We hosted a pre-Shabbat Candle Lighting for trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming Jews. Our 2021 Trans Jews are Here Convening Director Ariel Zitny & CBST’s Guest Cantorial Student Ze'evi Berman lead this program where we gathered to recite Yizkor and honor the memory of those whose lives were lost to acts of anti-transgender violence. Read A Transgender Day of Remembrance Yizkor written by Ariel, and watch Emet Co-Team Leader Rafaela Anshel read "El Malei Rachamim for Transgender Day of Remembrance" by Rabbi Reuben Zellman, 2005.

We also hosted Practicing Allyship - a deep conversation on allyship around this sacred day with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, CBST's Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies and Rabbi Menachem Creditor, the Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York. Here is a recording.

For those who did, thank you for sharing this picture of the Trans Day of Remembrance Yortzeit Candle on social media to honor those we have lost and to promote the visibility of this sacred day. The Yortzeit candle sticker was a joint effort between CBST and Keshet.

At Kabbalat Shabbat Services, Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, 2003/04 Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern, gave a guest drashah which you can view here.

Seth M. Marnin, Board Chair at Keshet and Rabbi Moskowitz share wisdom and actionable steps you can take around Trans Day of Remembrance. Read "We Remember and Honor through Action"

Your Contribution to CBST supports Trans & Queer Jewish Studies, like this conversation, and the work we do year round for Jewish LGBTQ life. Thank you for making a contribution.