Skip to content


November 21, 2010

an outreach table for trans community connections in tel aviv

i loved the trans remembrance shabbat service at sha’ar zahav. it was powerful on so many incredible levels. i loved rabbi angel’s joy of using siddur sha’ar zahav throughout the service paying attention to all of the prayers already written-into the text specifically related to trans remembrance. i loved martin rawlings-fein sharing note cards with a random selection of people to stand and read the names so they could too experience the public remembering. i loved sarah hoffman’s drash on exploring the experiences of parenting her gender variant child attending a local jewish day school.

after the service, a dear friend of mine sitting near me who now identifies as a butch lesbian, could not stop talking (really, this friend, usually quiet, was talking and talking and talking for quite a long time) about how she felt validated: finally. “outloud” she said, “i heard my experience as being this seriously awkward kid summarized. sarah {hoffman} substantiated so much of what i always felt but never really verbalized myself during her drash. if only someone turned to me 20 years-ago and said, kid, you don’t need to be someone else. you are great just as g*d created you – i would be a much more confident person today.”

in addition to jewish communities in los angeles, san francisco, boston, new york and oakland holding space for this important day folks in tel aviv, israel did too. it is powerful knowing that across the globe folks in tel aviv honored transgender day of remembrance as we did in san francisco. in tel aviv folks marked trans remembrance day not only with a ceremony at the lgbt center but a march as well bringing attention to the harm of transphobic violence and discrimination.

this continual communal need to encourage spiritual care, bring new voices of leadership into the public conversation, as well as the impetus towards social-change based activism is an integral piece of what makes me proud to be part of this global jewish community.

  1. I am so honored to hear you speak of my drash in that way, and touched to hear the story of your friend whose childhood experiences were validated that night. We are all, truly, just as we should be–and my goal is to help all gender-nonconforming kids feel that way.

    The link to my website that you have hotlinked above does not work–please use

    Thank you,
    Sarah Hoffman

  2. my friend also said, “she should be a parents coach. i think my parents had no clue what to do or what to say or how to act so they just didn’t do anything. they didn’t fight me on not wearing a dress they just gave up after i refused to wear one and stopped thinking of me as female or as their daughter…” your drash made an impact in how my friend now thinks about her life. it was really profound. thank you again. i will make sure to link and share it with her too.

  3. Thank you for telling me that! I’m am so touched.

    And thanks for sharing my website.

Comments are closed.