A Vibrant Reform Jewish Synagogue in Bergen County.

Temple Avodat Shalom

Serving northern New Jersey since 1952.

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Gender Identity and Expression Initiative

Gender Identity and Expression
At Shabbat Services on Friday night, December 8, 2017, the Social Justice Core Committee announced that our first (but far from last!) Justice Initiative will be focused on Gender Identity and Expression.  For more information, please read the attached speeches by Nilene Evans Chase about the process for identifying our first Initiative and the initial plans for moving forward and by Rabbi Paul about the Jewish values that underlie and support this Initiative.  Please keep watching this space for more information about our plans.
     - Gender Identity and Expression 
     - LGBTQ Awareness

Here is a clash of Immigration, Asylum and Transgender Rights - 


Alejandra fought for transgender rights for more than a decade in El Salvador. She was forced to flee after repeated attacks and extortion by a criminal gang, as well as abuses by the Salvadoran military. Alejandra was sexually assaulted by both the gang and military personnel because of her transgender identity. But instead of offering her safety and a chance to rebuild her life, the U.S. government is detaining her in a private prison with inadequate and unresponsive health care. Alejandra is now stuck at the Cibola detention center in New Mexico, waiting for an immigration judge’s decision on her asylum claim. She should be free – not behind bars. Join us in demanding that ICE release her on parole – so she can reunite with her niece, who is living in the U.S. and has already won her asylum claim.

Alejandra’s situation is not unique; there are many more trans people seeking asylum in the United States stuck waiting for months in detention centers where they are at risk of ill-treatment because of their gender identity, medical needs, or the trauma they have endured. It is cruel and unnecessary for U.S. immigration authorities to detain people fleeing to the U.S. in search of safety from persecution and violence, including brave women like Alejandra.

Tell ICE to release Alejandra, along with other transgender asylum seekers detained at Cibola!

Here is a link to a Modern Love story that should make us all think about what gender really is: 

It's a Theyby - Here is a link to a provocative article about raising a baby without a gender identity.