The Nehirim Jewish Transgender Gathering
A gathering of transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex, and gender non-conforming Jews, families, and friends
November 2â€”4, 2012
Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have.
FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
In many cities and communities, Jewish trans and gender non-conforming folk are living lives and building communities of strength, but haven’t yet had the chance to make connections with each other. November 2-4 in Berkeley, Nehirim and the Transgender Religious Leadership Summit (along with other partnering organizations) are bringing together as many of our community as we can to celebrate Shabbat together, to make personal connections, and to expand awareness of Trans Jewish culture for ourselves and others. Writer, educator, and activist Joy Ladin from Yeshiva University in NYC will be teaching, along with author and editor Noach Dzmura, Rabbi Elliot Kukla, Rabbi Reuben Zellman, Maggid Jhos Singer, Rabbi Dev Noily, and teachers and leaders from San Francisco and Los Angeles communities Kadin Henningsen, Ariel Vegosen, and Ben Lunine. Our Friday night dinner is being catered with expertise and loving kavvanah by Chef Baruch Schwadron of Hearth Healing Foods.
Nehirim Gatherings are safe and confidential spaces.
Sometimes we openly celebrate our Jewish identity and any transformation in our Gender identity. Often, both are aspects of self that we reveal cautiously.
Nehirim particularly welcomes folks to this Gathering who are questioning or exploring their Gender, their Queerness, or their relationship to Judaism and Jewish community. We have a sacred commitment to creating the opportunity for you to explore both your questions and your answers in safe and confidential space.
This is Gathering represents a Shehecheyanu moment in so many ways.
Our gathering will coincide with the first Muslim Trans Gathering in the area as well as the powerful Transgender Religious Leadership Summit (Click here for more information), now in its sixth year. There will be sessions of inter-religious dialogue and worship as well as closed sessions for the trans Jewish community alone. The gathering is co-sponsored by Starr King School for the Ministry, The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion (PSR) and Light In the Closet Ministries, and Keshet.
All of us involved in organizing, scheduling, catering, and facilitating this first-time Gathering and the other related events are tremendously excited about the possibilities for learning and for building community. We hope you feel that excitement, also, and that you look forward to joining us.
The pricing for the Nehirim Trans Gathering is:
$80- base rate
$120- supporter rate
$ 40- ÂÂÂÂ student/financial need rate
The conference fee includes Friday night and Saturday afternoon meals and all program expenses. ÂÂÂÂ Please note: most of our facilitators are volunteers and we have done our best to keep costs at an absolute minimum. ÂÂÂÂ If you require additional financial aid, please apply at www.nehirim.org/aidÂÂÂÂ as soon as possible. ÂÂÂÂ All financial aid is subsidized by individual contributions to the event. ÂÂÂÂ Please pay the supporter rate if you are able, and consider making an additional donation when you register or at www.nehirim.org/donate. ÂÂÂÂ If we run short on donations or supporter rate registrations, we will be forced to remove the $40 rate. ÂÂÂÂ Thank you for your support!
For more information, please write to David Dunn Bauer, Director of Nehirim West, at email@example.com.
L’shanah tovah umetukah! A good and sweet New Year to everyone!
Program Schedule (Subject to Change)
5:00 pm Registration and Welcome
6:00â€”7:30 pm Shabbat Service
7:30 pm Catering by Hearth Healing Foods
9:00 pm Gathering Heart Circle
8:00 am Breakfast
9:30â€”11:00 am Shabbat morning choices
ÂÂÂâ€” Shabbat Shacharit Service with Maggid Jhos Singer
ÂÂÂâ€” Conversation: “Being a Jewish Gender Outlaw” with Ariel Vegosen
11 am to 12:30 pm Torah Study Parshat haShavuah with Joy Ladin
12:30â€”2:00 pm Lunch (Grab food for breakout discussions)
2:30â€”3:40 pm Being Transgender is Kosher: Beyond the Binary in Ancient Jewish Texts with Rabbi Dev Noily & Ben Lunine
3:40â€”5:30 pm Shabbat nap time!! (or Shabbat shmooze time with possible affinity groups)
5:30â€”7:00 pmFacetime with God: A new look at the Psalms with Noach Dzmura & Joy Ladin
7:00 pm Havdalah
7:30â€”9:00 pm Gathering Heart Circle over Pizza
ÂÂÂâ€” What does it mean to be Trans and Jewish? How do we experience Jewish Gender roles and privileges? with Joy Ladin & Kadin Henningsen
9:30â€”10:30 pm Highlights from the LA Trans Film Festival 2011
8:30 am Bagels and Coffee available
9:00 am Torah Yoga
10:00 am Conversation:ÂÂÂÂ Does Judaism love your body? with Rabbi David Dunn Bauer
11:00 am Resource swap/Networking with Kadin Henningsen
12:30â€”1:00 pm Closing Heart Circle
Faculty & Speakers
Joy Ladin, David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College of Yeshiva University, has published numerous poems and essays, and five books of poetry: Coming to Life (named Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“one of the five most important Jewish poetry books of 2010Ă˘â‚¬Âť by The Forward), Psalms, Transmigration (2009 Lambda Literary Award finalist), The Book of Anna and Alternatives to History. Her most recent book is the memoir, “Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders.” Her 2007 return to teaching at Yeshiva University as a woman after years of teaching as a man made Yeshiva the first Orthodox Jewish institution to employ an openly transgender employeeĂ˘â‚¬â€ťand sparked discussion around the Jewish world. Her work has been supported by a Fulbright Scholarship and a research fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
David Dunn Bauer
Rabbi David Dunn Bauer is the Director of West Coast Programming for Nehirim and brings to his work over 20 years of professional theater experience, nine years in the congregational rabbinate, and 20 years of yoga practice, as well as academic study on sexuality and spirituality. David earned his B.A. in Theatre Studies and English Literature at Yale University, studied Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and received his rabbinical ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. In 2011, he became the first Jew to earn the Certificate in Sexuality and Religion from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, writing on “Blessings for the Erotic Body” and Jewish Queer Sexual Ethics. David interned at CBST in New York and from 2003 to 2010 served as the rabbi of the Jewish Community of Amherst, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Based now in San Francisco, he has a private practice in Queer Spiritual Counseling.
Noach Dzmura is the editor of the 2011 Lambda Literary Award winning anthology, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community, North Atlantic Books, 2010. He serves as adjunct faculty at Starr King School for the Ministry of the Graduate Theological Union, and as Executive Assistant to the Provost and Director of Educational Technology at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA. He also directs Jewish Transitions, a consultancy that develops inclusive chevra kadisha and conversion practices, and provides guidance to transgender people regarding the conversion process and traditional burial.
Rabbi Reuben Zellman
Rabbi Reuben Zellman is a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and has been a transgender activist since 1999. He has written many articles and educational materials about gender, sexuality, and Judaism, and has taught at congregations, conferences and universities around the U.S. Reuben currently serves as the assistant rabbi and music director at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, CA.
Ariel Vegosen is proud to be a Jewish queer gender-outlaw. Ariel is a professional dialogue facilitator, Jewish educator, ropes course instructor, community organizer, media consultant, event coordinator, writer, performer, activist, and world traveler. Ariel has facilitated programs for Nehirim, Shomer Shalom, Teva Learning Alliance, Jewish Funds for Justice, Wilderness Torah, and American Jewish World Service. Ariel serves on the board of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Community of Living Traditions and is the founder of the Gender Blender Collective, a group designed to address how gender impacts and affects our lives.
Rabbi Elliot Rose Kukla has been an activist, writer and educator for more than a decade. He has taught widely about sexual and gender diversity in Judaism in the US, Canada and Israel. His writing appears in and is upcoming from numerous magazines including Lilith, Shm’a: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility and Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Art and Culture, as well as in anthologies published by New York University Press, Jewish Lights and the Union for Reform Judaism Press. For the last 2 years, Elliot served as the rabbi of the Danforth Jewish Circle, in Toronto, Canada, a congregation grounded in social justice and inclusion. Elliot was the Rabbinic Organizer of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) in LA.
Kadin Henningsen is an artist and activist in Los Angeles, California. He was the first transgender person to be elected to the Board of Directors at Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), the worldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s first LGBT Synagogue and has served as Chair of BCCĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Adult Education Committee. Kadin currently facilitates a monthly Trans Text Study, and is a recipient of a 2012-2013 Kevah Teaching Fellowship. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his current work explores Jewish concepts surrounding identity and ritual.
Rabbi Dev Noily works in queer Jewish community by serving on the board of the Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations and developing religious school curricula that integrate queer liberation into the transmission of Jewish texts and traditions. Dev serves as School Director and Spiritual Leader at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont, CA.
Ben Lunine is a second year student at the Pacific School of Religion. Ben is a former transgender rights attorney. He currently serves on the board of the Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations. Ben works as a Chaplain Intern at Kaiser Hayward Medical Center. Ben is active member of Congregation ShaĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ar Zahav where he serves as a Bat Mitzvah mentor.
Nehirim’s Bay Area programming is made possible by the support of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.