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Lambda Literary Awards Jewish Transgender Anthology

June 2, 2011

Noach Dzmura editor of the anthology, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community has said, “no matter where you fall on the spectrum of Jewish observance, and no matter where you fall on the spectrum of gender identity, there is a home for you in the Jewish community.”  This message of finding a home for Gender Variant and Trans identified people is clearly one of the overarching messages that made Noach’s anthology a Lambda Literary Award winner in the category of Transgender Non-Fiction this last week.Noach Dzmura

“The Lammys” or The Lambda Literary Awards, have been awarding published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes since 1988. Although this is far from the first time a Jewish author or Jewish subject received a Lammy, this is the first time that an anthology devoted entirely to the encounter between Jewish life and practice, and transgender bodies has been awarded. Based on my experience working with Noach over the past few years, this book is the summary of his investment towards ensuring that transgender inclusion is an increasingly understood reality throughout the organized Jewish community.

A natural thought leader, Noach is a local Educator and Activist who holds a Masters Degree in both Instructional Design and Jewish Studies.  Together with Rachel Biale, Rebecca Weiner, Karen Earlichman, myself and Ruby Cymrot-Wu as part of our professional Bay Area LGBT Jewish collective, Kol Tzedek, he co-author a Transgender Inclusion Report that led to the creation of the Transgender Task Force at the Jewish Community Federation. Noach started the East Bay Transgender Chevra, has written for the Forward, Sh’ma, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle, Tikkun and Zeek. Through all of his varied local community experiences started the site, Jewish Transitions to help further convey the messages also found in the anthology.

Many of the writers in his anthology like Kate Bornstein, Rabbi Elliot Kukla, Rabbi Reuben Zellman, Charlotte Fonrobert, Maggid Jhos Singer, Eliron Hamburger and Chav Doherty are also active change-makers and thought-leaders with strong roots in our local Jewish community. Yasher Koach, to the leaders and writers from across North America that provided their powerful pieces to the anthology and continue to help navigate the path of transforming our collective understanding of the full spectrum of Jewish lives.

Noach Dzmura and many of the contributing essayists are available to speak with your organization, synagogue, chevra kadisha, ritual committee, or book club in a range of formats. Please connect with Noach at Jewish Transitions to learn more about how to have these important topics brought to your community.

  1. I can relate to 2 sides of the sptercum.. I’m a c.n.a in a facility and I’m also lesbian. In the facilities today it is hard enough to be gay and work there let alone live there as a resident and feel as if you have absolutely no rights! We are told and trained that residents have all these rights but in reality, it’s all smoke.. they tell families and potential residents what they want or need to hear to get the bed filled! I’ve been in this field fo 23 years and my turn will soon be here and let me just say I WOULD BE VERY FEARFUL OF THE POTENTIAL CARE ! I am an awesome care giver because I have passion for what I do, not many can say the same. We don’t make much money, we are over worked and under appreciated but at the end of MY day, I feel good about the care I provided to any and all of my residents! We do need extensive training in the homes, from administration to housekeeping and if you can’t take care of each person like they are your own family then go the hell home!!! You weren’t cut out for it and we don’t need ya!!! These homes talk a good game about culture change and the resident has the right to choose . the right to fall , or the right to refuse . tell me this though, when are these rights implemented? We aides are sometimes the only family the resident has and we become close and when the turnover in these facilities is so high and one of us is taken away or fired or whatever, don’t ya think that resident will know and feel that we aren’t there? Dimensia, alzheimers and all the other diseases can’t hide how a resident feels when they lose a friend or family member!!! Gay or otherwise the ELDERLYare PEOPLE WITH FEELINGS AND THESE FACILITIES NEED TO WAKE THE HELL UP AND TREAT THEM AS SUCH!!!!!! FOLLOW THRUGH WITH TRAINING, IT CAN ONLY IMPROVE YOUR HOME!

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