Making Our Priorities Clear: The Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People

Inside Leadership

Making Our Priorities Clear: The Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People

Earlier today at the URJ Biennial, the Union for Reform Judaism passed a resolution on the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people that affirms our commitment to the full equality, inclusion, and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions. It encourages our Reform institutions to use gender-neutral language, suggests training on issues of gender for religious school staff, and calls for advocacy on behalf of the transgender community. At this Biennial, we are also proud to launch our new congregational resource on transgender inclusion.

More than anything, the resolution affirms our Movement’s longtime commitment to LGBT equality and inclusion in our congregations and in our broader society.

The Associated Press highlights this resolution in an article, and when comparing our resolution to similar ones from other faiths, says, “None, however, go as far as the one offered by the Union for Reform Judaism.” The story has been picked up by a number of different news outlets including NBC News and Haaretz.

The Reform Movement has long advocated for equality, passing numerous resolutions in support of equality. Our Jewish values speak to the idea that each of us, created in God’s image, b'tselem Elohim, has a unique talent with which we can contribute to the high moral purpose of tikkun olam, the repair of our world. Excluding anyone from our community lessens our chance of achieving this goal of a more perfect world.

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism has partnered with Keshet, an organization committed to full equality and inclusion for LGBT Jews, to create resources around transgender inclusion. Check out our new one-page pamphlet on congregational transgender inclusion; a more in-depth guide to congregational transgender inclusion will be available in the coming months. For more information on these issues and inclusive programming, visit the RAC’s issue page or Keshet’s webpage

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Tracy Wolf was a 2015-2016 Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC), and currently serves as the RAC's Leadership Development Associate. Originally from Syosset, N.Y., she is a member of North Shore Synagogue and a graduate of Dickinson College.

Tracy Wolf

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