New Generation of Transgender Rabbis Ties Jewish Practice and Gender Change

The number of transgender rabbis in America will soon double — from three to six. The next generation is blazing a trail with a unique approach to gender identity and Jewish spirituality.

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Leiah Moser Challenges Progressive Jewish Feminism

When Leiah Moser began her gender transition last year, she found an unexpected cushion in rabbinical school, where many of her fellow students were trying on new identities and even new names. “All of my classmates are undergoing this intense, extreme process of transformation, and most of them feel just as challenged and confused about it as I do my gender transition,” she said.

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Jacob Lieberman Wants To Change the Jewish World

“I didn’t come to be a rabbi because I wanted to change the Jewish world about transgender issues,” said Jacob Lieberman, 34, a fourth-year student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, in Wyncote, Pa. “I came because I have Jewish ideas that I want to help to infuse into our society.”

For Ari Lev Fornari, Gender and Palestinian Liberation Are Linked

“I am one of those people who have wanted to be a rabbi since I was a little kid,” said Ari Lev Fornari, a fifth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew College, a pluralistic college of Jewish studies in Newton Centre, Mass. His professional ambitions were “not disconnected from my own queer inclination.” The only out gay person he knew as a child was his rabbi, Karen Bender, at Temple Beth El of Great Neck. (She is now a rabbi at Temple Judea, in Tarzana, Calif.)

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First Generation of Transgender Rabbis Claims Place at Bimah

When it comes to transgender Jews, the community is in a moment of transition. Some are pushing the envelope by becoming the first transgender rabbis.

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