Conservative Judaism takes a step towards accepting and protecting the transgender community.
Last week, the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism passed a historic resolution that affirms the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming congregants. It also urges the government officials to review their practices and policies to ensure the full equality of transgender people under the law.
The resolution will see the Conservative synagogues, schools, camps, and organizations affiliated with the religion openly welcoming transgender and gender non-conforming people, and bringing in policies to ensure their safety. The various Conservative institutions from now on will advocate for the local and national policies on behalf of transgender people.
— Rabbi Jason Miller (@RabbiJason) June 1, 2016
The executive vice president of the organization of 1,700 rabbis, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, said that the main priority of their religious community is to bring their Jewish values to make an impact on the people around them and real-life situations. The resolution is a prime example that shows how the Torah’s fundamental values always reassert themselves as the society grows and matures.
The senior rabbi of Adas Israel Congregation located in Washington, D.C., Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, expressed his joy and pride over the resolution and said that the Jewish people, since Talmudic times, have recognized the fact that the human condition is not just binary. The presence of God is manifest in a multiplicity of expressions of human being's genders and lives. Rabbi Steinlauf is hoping that the resolution will help to promote the truth of Judaism in the society and in the world.
Conservative Judaism is the second largest denomination in America. The largest, Reform Judaism, passed a similar resolution last year. Reconstructionist Judaism, the smallest denomination, is equally supportive of transgender rights.
A notable point is that the resolution from Conservative Judaism comes at a time when the whole country is debating about Obama's transgender bathroom directive.
A recent survey conducted by the Smith Polling Institute for Hiddush, ahead of Friday's Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade, shows that 76 percent of Jewish Israel people support civil unions or same-sex marriages.
According to the Religion and Faith Program Manager of pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign, Michael Toumayan, the Metropolitan Community Churches, the United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church have already stated their support for LGBT rights.
Several people in the transgender and non-binary community took to social media, especially Twitter, to applaud the resolution.
More incredible news from the faith community affirming and supporting trans lives!!! Mazel Tov, conservative… https://t.co/jv1THNkzDp
— Tranzmission (@tranzmission) June 3, 2016
- Rabbinical Assembly Resolution Affirming the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People
- Washington Post
- Human Rights Campaign
- The Jerusalem Post
- World Religion News – “Reform Jews Show Support for Transgender People with New Resolution”
- World Religion News – “Franklin Graham goes on a Rant over Transgender Bathroom Order”