"What are you?" was a question I was often asked in New York City. At first, I did not understand. Having grown up in San Antonio, Texas during the Jim Crow era, there was no doubt in my mind. During Jim Crow, Americans were defined by their skin color. I was not Black, but neither was I white. Therefore, I reasoned, I must be Mexican.
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On Shavuot, many of us study the Book of Ruth. Lauded by Rabbinic tradition as a righteous convert, Ruth’s story continues to resonate with the experiences of many Jews-by-choice today.
The Union for Reform Judaism, Jewish Grandparents Network, and Keshet are collaborating on a series of conversations to support grandparents and other loving adults who are interested in providing affirming spaces for gender expansive, non-binary, and transgender young people. These sessions provide grandparents with foundational knowledge, shared language, and inclusive practices.
As I stood at the top of the steps of the pool of warm water, I could feel my feet tingle with anticipation. The feeling slowly enveloped my body, moving steadily up my legs, to my core, my heart and my mind. The feeling did not agitate or annoy, it was like a blanket of calmness and serenity. I stood at the top of the steps looking down into the mikvah. I took a breath and descended slowly until I stood fully in the water.
If one of your Jewishly themed New Year's resolutions is to delve deeper into your Judaism, consider signing up for one of the Reform Jewish Movement's classes.
Grace (they/them) is an alum of the URJ's JewV'Nation Fellowship LGBTQ+ cohort. Our writer sat down with Grace to talk about gender and Judaism.
Three years before the COVID-19 pandemic response sheltered millions of people at home and drove us to do all things virtual, the URJ was crafting online communities of learners as they journeyed together through our 21 sessions of Introduction to Judaism Online.
As a Jewish autistic bisexual transgender woman, “I will be what I will be” is something I have had to tell many people throughout my life, as they have questioned, judged, mocked, and discriminated against me for who I am.
Not knowing if I would be shunned or accepted, I decided to give my religion another chance. I was not prepared for the warm and welcoming atmosphere I found at temple, where being gay was as acceptable as having brown hair.
One person can change your life forever. For me, this person was Robert Clary, an entertainer and author who rose to fame starring as Corporal Louis LeBeau on the classic sitcom "Hogan’s Heroes."