For Trans Jews, ‘A Community Of Our Own’

This is what I am talking about, building communities that are there for all ages and that go beyond “activism” or for that matter support groups.  Loneliness is a major problem along with being disconnected from the social institutions straight folks find sources of support.

From New York Jewish Week:  https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/for-trans-jews-a-community-of-our-own/

CBST conference — ‘a holy gathering’ — marks new sense of belonging.

By Shira Hanau
April 16, 2019

When Jillian Weiss first joined Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in 1998, she was one of the few transgender members of the LGBTQ synagogue.

Late last month, she was one of over 100 transgender and non-binary Jews filling CBST’s sanctuary on Shabbat as part of the synagogue’s first-ever Trans Jews Are Here Convening.

Weiss was a co-chair of the convening and is a board member at CBST.

“There were really no other out transgender people there,” she said of the synagogue circa 1998. “Now that it’s clear that transgender Jews are here, the vast majority of transgender Jews who are still thinking that they should stay away need to reconsider that because the world is changing.”

Weiss was a co-chair of the convening and is a board member at CBST.

“There were really no other out transgender people there,” she said of the synagogue circa 1998. “Now that it’s clear that transgender Jews are here, the vast majority of transgender Jews who are still thinking that they should stay away need to reconsider that because the world is changing.”

“One of the defining characteristics of being transgender in the United States and at this time is really being alone and being ostracized by communities of all types,” said Weiss. “So creating a community of our own is essential.”

“There’s so many of us who have wanted this for a long time,” said Rafi Daugherty, the convening director, who called the event “magical.”

Between Shabbat services and meals, attendees chose from workshops on topics such as trans rituals, queer readings of midrash and trans Jewish storytelling. The program, most of which was closed to the press due to the sensitive nature so the discussions, included special programming for trans and non-binary children.

Continue reading at:  https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/for-trans-jews-a-community-of-our-own/

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