What Being Jewish Taught Me About Being Transgender, and Vice Versa
At first glance, Jewish identity and transgender identity (identifying as something other than simply male or female) have little in common. Jewish identity grows out of a 3000-year tradition; the term "transgender identity" has only been in use for a decade or two. Jewish identity is based on what we have in common with other Jews; transgender identity is based on how we are different from those who embrace the genders they were born into. This talk will use Joy Ladin's personal experience to explore the ways in which, despite and because of their differences, Jewish and transgender identities can speak to, strengthen and enrich one another, and how Jewish communities may gain by including and embracing transgender Jews. Join Joy Ladin and Daniel Libenson as they discuss "What Being Jewish Taught Me About Being Transgender, and Vice Versa." Ladin holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, and, in 2007, became the first (and still only) openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. Her memoir, “Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders,” was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Her recent book, “The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective,” is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Triangle Award. Ladin has also published nine books of poetry. Her work was recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship and two Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research Fellowships, among other honors. A nationally recognized speaker on transgender and Jewish identity, she serves on the Board of Keshet, an organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ Jews in the Jewish world. The following night, Dr. Ladin will discuss "Gender Roles and Transformations in the Torah." Part of the Architects of the Jewish Future Series.