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LGBTQIA Rights

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Episode 35: Becoming Abby Stein

Author and transgender activist Abby Stein grew up in a tight-knit, insular Hasidic community in Brooklyn; she calls it one of the most gender-segregated societies in America. From early childhood, she knew she was a girl, but for her entire life, her community celebrated the fact that she was a boy. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Stein describes her upbringing, her discovery of non-binary genders in Jewish mysticism, and how she parted ways with her community. This is the final episode in our three-part fall author interview series.

A person holds a sign reading "Take Action for Trans Rights." 

In Memory of Bee Love Slater

by Maddie Solomon

Bee Love Slater was the eighteenth transgender person murdered in the US this year.

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights
A seder plate with the six traditional items and an orange.

The Orange on the Seder Plate

by Ellanora Lerner

There are a few stories that you may have heard about the orange on the seder plate.

Zioness at the D.C. Dyke March

Lessons from the D.C. Dyke March

by Sophie Hurwitz

What can we learn from the debate about Jewish and Israeli symbols at Pride?

Disobedience Book Cover

"Disobedience" and the History of Jewish Lesbian Obscenity

by Sophie Hurwitz

Naomi Alderman's acclaimed novel Disobedience is the latest in a long line of Jewish works about women in love and owes much to predecessors like Gut fun Nekome.

Poster for Rainbow Rams, a school gay-straight alliance club.

Building Inclusivity at My Jewish Day School

by Nina Baran

Until last year, when the club was first started, we didn’t have a GSA; we also don’t have any LGBTQ+ books, and students aren't aware of staff who are trained in LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

Vicki Gabriner, 1942 - 2018

Activist, agitator, proud Brooklynite, feminist, lesbian, socialist, wit, wife, cherished friend and relative. Vicki Levins Gabriner was articulate, principled, often ahead of her times.

Gay-Straight Alliance bulletin board

An Education in Allyship

by Emily Axelrod

As word spread about what we were trying to do, a number of students told us they were in support of a GSA and would definitely participate if we succeeded in creating it.

Audre Lorde, Meridel Lesueur, and Adrienne Rich, 1980

Poetry as Protest: Adrienne Rich Fought for All Women

by Abigail Glickman

Rich once said, “In a time of frontal assaults both on language and on human solidarity, poetry can remind us of all we are in danger of losing–disturb us, embolden us out of resignation.” In other words, poetry has the power to express the things that unite us all as humans and can inspire us to work together toward a common goal.

Ilana Glazer Cropped

My Intersectional Feminist Queen, Ilana Wexler

by Lily Drazin

“Madonna, Rihanna, Ilana!” That’s just one of the many unique jingles enthusiastically sung by none other than the ultimate feminist, Jewess, and queen: Ilana Wexler. Wexler, the fictional character from Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City, embodies every aspect of what it means to be a badass, world-changing, intersectional feminist.

Evelyn Torton Beck

Evelyn Torton Beck: An Intersectional Role Model

by Shira Minsk

Beck’s acknowledgment that Jewish lesbians had a unique struggle for acceptance and belonging in the feminist, lesbian, and Jewish communities was a radical move. She fought for more recognition and validation by feminist activists and lesbian activists, who she felt did not take her work seriously.

Another Jew for Yes on 3

In Praise of the Political Lapel Pin

by Ruth Zakarin

As our country becomes more divided, and our government more divisive, showing solidarity with communities that are not my own feels imperative.

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights
Migrants from South America 2018

The Land of the Living

by Ruth Zakarin

I want to be in a world where all those around me get to not just exist, but fully live. I want to raise my children in an environment that allows folks to breathe deeply, function without fear, and be who they truly are. But it takes more than just wanting.

Image from A Yes on 3 Rally

Young People Will Always Be Powerful

by Sky Karp
Every Tuesday in the cramped living room of the Beacon Hill Friends House, I transform into someone who’s not only their equal but their mentor, their advisor, their trainer, and their coach. Every Tuesday, I’m not some powerless queer kid scared at the state of the world, but a powerful Jewish organizer with the ability to engage dozens of people in our movement.
Trans Equality Cover Image

As a Jewish Feminist, I stand for Trans Rights

by Mimi Micner

As a Jewish feminist, I have a particular obligation to fight alongside my transgender siblings as their rights are threatened at the state and national level.

Ilana Kaufman

Working with organizations in California and beyond, Ilana Kaufman has drawn on her personal experience as a queer Jewish woman of color to advocate for diversity and inclusivity.
San Francisco Pride

Cafeteria Judaism and Feminine Queer Identity

by Kara Sherman

Religion isn’t always easy. I often like to pretend it is—buzzwords like “interfaith” and “pluralism” pervade my discussions about faith. But every now and again, I’m reminded that the history of my faith is not easy. Judaism was, in fact, built on questions. How do I find support as a woman from a faith founded on patriarchal texts? How do I reconcile ancient laws with a modern identity of queerness?

Enid Shapiro, 1925 - 2017

Enid Shapiro lived tikkun olam. She was an early feminist, a devoted Jew, an unceasing learner, and she made a difference in countless people’s lives through her devotion to repair the world and her commitment to kindness and care that came from a place of profound integrity.

Edie Windsor

Edie Windsor struck a historic blow for gay rights in 2013 when the Supreme Court ruled in her favor in United States v. Windsor, granting same sex couples recognition by the federal government.

Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah

As both one of the first women and one of the first openly gay rabbis to be ordained in Britain, Elli Tikvah Sarah has shattered assumptions about what it means to be part of—and to lead—the Jewish community.

Lisa Edwards

As a rabbi serving the oldest LGBT synagogue in Los Angeles, Lisa Edwards has worked for decades to make the Jewish community a more welcoming place for gays, lesbians, and transgender Jews.

Amy Bernstein

Amy Bernstein has used her position as rabbi of one of the largest Reconstructionist synagogues in the country to create the kind of welcoming community that she longed for at an earlier age.

Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

#JWAmegaphone: Voices of Power and Protest

by  Judith Rosenbaum

At JWA, we believe that history is not only about the past; it is about the present. The events of the past year have made us more keenly aware than ever that we’re living through history in the making. And not just witnessing it—we are part of it, makers of history with each action we take.

Elli Tikvah Sarah

As both one of the first women and one of the first openly gay rabbis to be ordained in Britain, Elli Tikvah Sarah has profoundly reshaped the liberal Jewish community of Britain.

Lisa Edwards

As a lesbian rabbi serving an LGBT congregation during a period that has spanned the AIDS crisis and the legalization of gay marriage, Rabbi Lisa Edwards has spent decades working to make the Jewish community a more welcoming place for gays, lesbians, and transgender Jews.
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