March 30, 2021
The Central Conference of American Rabbis proudly marks Transgender Day of Visibility. Reform rabbis are grateful that we see transgender members of the Jewish community—among the rabbis of the CCAR and in the communities we serve.
This year’s celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility is marred by hateful and discriminatory legislation, moving through tens of state legislatures—and, in some cases, signed into law—targeting transgender Americans. Whether denying parents and guardians the right to secure life-affirming and often life-saving medical care for their transgender children, prohibiting transgender girls from participation in athletics, or violating transgender rights in other ways, these bills and laws shamefully seek to delegitimize the identities of transgender people.
This year, Transgender Day of Visibility falls during Passover, impelling Reform rabbis and all members of the Jewish community to demand justice and freedom for transgender Americans, who are too often treated as strangers to be feared and hated, much like our ancient forbears in Egypt.
At the seder, we recalled: “Our history moves from slavery toward freedom. Our narration begins with degradation and rises to dignity. Our service opens with the rule of evil and advances toward the realm of God’s peace and compassion.”[i] We urge all Americans to join us, in prayer as well as activism, in the hope that transgender Americans who today know degradation will soon know dignity, and that the narrow-minded severity in too many statehouses will give way to the realm of God’s peace and compassion.
Rabbi Lewis Kamrass
Rabbi Hara E. Person
Central Conference of American Rabbis
[i] Rabbi Hara E. Person and Jessica Greenbaum, Editors, Mishkan HaSeder: A Passover Haggadah, New York: CCAR Press, 2021.