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Trans Jews are Here

Trans Jews are Here 2021 Convening

Wednesday, March 31 - Trans Day of Visibility

CBST is pleased to announce the Trans Jews are Here 2021 Convening which will take 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. This coming year, we are thrilled to host the second Trans Jews are Here Convening.

The 2021 convening will be fully online, with a full day of trans, Jewish - focused programming ranging from ritual to art to education and more. There will also be an allyship track for cisgender friends, family, and community members to participate and learn. Registration will be launched in early 2021, but for now we ask you to participate in the following ways:

Updates & Feedback
We want to know your thoughts and hopes for this upcoming convening! Is there a topic you would really like to take a workshop on? Is there a teacher or community leader you would really like to see there? Let us know with this form.

Workshop Proposals
Are you interested in running a workshop, caucus, or affinity group program for the convening? You can find more info about logistics and submit a proposal here.

Organizational Partners & Institutional Allies
If you would like your synagogue or organization to participate, or your rabbi to get involved, please email jkatz@cbst.org.

New Programs


Emet: Trans & Non-Binary Team Meeting
Thursday, January 7 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. Save-the-date for our next meeting! 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.

Poetry at CBST: Joy Ladin in Conversation with Ariel Zitny - Register Here
Monday, February 1, 7pm to 8pm (ET), via Zoom
Dr. Joy Ladin will be in conversation with Trans Jews are Here Convening Director Ariel Zitny on poetry and more! Register for free here. Registrants will receive the zoom info to participate by 12pm the day-of.

 

 

 

 

 


Beyond the Binary with Ze'evi Berman & Ariel Zitny - Register Now
3 Sessions - Mondays, Dec 28, Jan 4 & 11, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (ET)
Did you know the idea that there is more than just male and female has existed in Judaism from at least the time of the Mishnah (200 CE)? Come learn about the six genders in Judaism, and what our tradition can teach us about gender diversity and inclusion of people who don't fit into the gender binary. Ze'evi Berman (they/them or ze/zem/zer), CBST’s Guest Cantorial Student, and Ariel Zitny (he/they) Convening Director of the 2021 Trans Jews are Here Convening, lead this 3-session Lehrhaus course. Registration includes all 3 dates. Registrants will receive the Zoom info to attend by 12pm the day-of.


 

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!


TRANS PRIDE JUDAICA
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

ARTICLES AND RESOURCES

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

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.