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Gender Identity and Expression Initiative


In December 2017, the Social Justice Core Committee announced that our first (but far from last!) Justice Initiative is focused on Gender Identity and Expression.  At the December 8th Shabbat Services,  Nilene Evans Chase discussed the process for identifying our first Initiative and the initial plans for moving forward and Rabbi Paul spoke the Jewish values that underlie and support this Initiative:  

     - Gender Identity and Expression 
     - LGBTQ Awareness

Winter 2020 Articles about Gender Equity:

Here are two Summer 2019 articles about LGBTQ+ concerns:
  • Birth Certificates - Effective February 1, 2019, NJ Birth Certificates will allow "Male, Female and Undesignated/Nonbinary" and people will be allowed to amend their existing birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. Click here to read the article.  
  • Transgender Youth at Risk -  

    Right to transition in Jail- a transgender veteran’s story is an exploration of medical ethics and the criminal justice system. 

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was conducted in 10 states. The Study found  that while nearly 2% of U.S. high school students identify as transgender, 35% attempted suicide.   It also found that 27% of the students who identified as transgender felt unsafe at school or traveling to and from campus, and 35% said they were bullied.  In a recent article in The Washington Post,  Amit Paley, chief executive and executive director of the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, called the report “groundbreaking” and told The Washington Post that the Trump administration has rolled back Obama-era rules aimed at protecting members of the LGBTQ community in areas such as health and education. In 2017, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revoked guidelines that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

The rights and lives of Transgender and nonbinary individuals are at risk.  The Trump Administration appears ready to issue a regulation that has a strict definition of gender based on a person’s genitalia at birth. See this recent NY Times article.  Numerous organizations are mobilizing to fight this proposed rule, including GLSEN (  Please consider joining the fight.  We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.


We are also participating in the URJ's Audacious Hospital series of webinars about LGBTQIA matters.  Here is some information from the webinars:

The lives of Transgender Children remain at risk

"THE ORTHODOX RABBI WHO WORKS AT AN LGBT SYNAGOGUE" (Click here to see this article in the Jewish standard)

Here is a clash of Immigration, Asylum and Transgender Rights - 


Alejandra fought for transgender rights for more than a decade in El Salvador. She was forced to flee after repeated attacks and extortion by a criminal gang, as well as abuses by the Salvadoran military. Alejandra was sexually assaulted by both the gang and military personnel because of her transgender identity. But instead of offering her safety and a chance to rebuild her life, the U.S. government is detaining her in a private prison with inadequate and unresponsive health care. Alejandra is now stuck at the Cibola detention center in New Mexico, waiting for an immigration judge’s decision on her asylum claim. She should be free – not behind bars. Join us in demanding that ICE release her on parole – so she can reunite with her niece, who is living in the U.S. and has already won her asylum claim.

Alejandra’s situation is not unique; there are many more trans people seeking asylum in the United States stuck waiting for months in detention centers where they are at risk of ill-treatment because of their gender identity, medical needs, or the trauma they have endured. It is cruel and unnecessary for U.S. immigration authorities to detain people fleeing to the U.S. in search of safety from persecution and violence, including brave women like Alejandra.

Tell ICE to release Alejandra, along with other transgender asylum seekers detained at Cibola!

Here is a link to a Modern Love story that should make us all think about what gender really is: 

It's a Theyby - Here is a link to a provocative article about raising a baby without a gender identity.

Seeing the person not the gender...
His Dating Profile Listed Reasons Not to Date Him She Was Intrigued. “Love is finding the person who understands you more intimately than you ever thought possible.” NY Times Article July 27, 2018

Sat, September 25 2021 19 Tishrei 5782