The Tampa Tribune recently reported that the Union for Reform Judaism (“URJ”) passed a resolution in support of transgender rights. The resolution of the URJ, representing approximately 1.5 million American Jews, is the most wide-reaching indication of support for transgender equality.
The resolution did not mandate changes to Reform synagogues or require them to spend money on changes, though it did set suggested protocols on welcoming transgender and non-gender-conforming individuals.
The Tampa Tribune reports that there was a standing ovation among the 5,000 attendees of the URJ meeting after the resolution passed without opposition:
“Your reaction in this room shows what this movement is about. It makes me very proud,” said Stephen Sacks, chairman of the Union for Reform Judaism’s board.
Other religious bodies, such as the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, previously approved resolutions affirming equality for transgender and non-gender-conforming people.
The Union for Reform Judaism is offering a one-page pamphlet to help congregations adopt the goals of the resolution. It suggests dividing kids by birth month rather than gender in youth programming and avoiding using gender titles such as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” on nametags or in emails. It also to ask congregants by which pronouns they would prefer to be called.
“One of the key components is it calls for resources, development and training so we get into the congregations and do training with their leaders, youth professionals, rabbis, lay leaders, and then supply them with materials on how do you deal with bathrooms? How do you deal with language? How do you deal with prayer?” said Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, a senior vice president with the Union for Reform Judaism.
If you or a family member or friend is transgender and want to learn about your Florida family law rights, including questions about name change, adoption, child custody, and other issues incidental to divorce, you are welcome to schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.