Tag Archives: Lambda Literary Award

LGBT Book Readings at the Jewish Community Library

Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires, A presentation by Miryam Kabakov will be held on Thursday, November 17 at 7pm.

Reconciling queerness with religion has always been an enormous challenge. When the religion is Orthodox Judaism, the task is even more daunting. The anthology Keep Your Wives Away from Them, edited by Miryam Kabakov, takes on that challenge by giving voice to lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jewish women who were once silenced—and effectively rendered invisible—by their faith. It tells the story of those who have come out, who are still closeted, living double lives, or struggling to maintain an integrated "single life" in relationship to traditional Judaism.

On Tuesday, December 13 at 7pm join Noach Dzmura, editor of Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community along with contributors Chav Doherty, Martin Rawlings-Fein, Jhos Singer, and Max Strassfeld in conversation.

How can transgender people live pious Jewish lives when many of their significant life choices might be considered “un-kosher”? How might parenting be complicated, or perhaps, enhanced, when one parent has changed sex? How does it feel to be in “men only” ritual space when you were once defined by your community as female? Balancing on the Mechitza is an anthology by activists, theologians, and scholars, both transgender and non-transgender allies, who share their interpretation of Jewish texts about ambiguous bodies, as well as their sacred and secular stories



                                                                                                                                                               Both readings are free and open to the public at the San Francisco Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) Jewish Community Library. The library is located at 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, 94115, between Scott and Pierce on the campus of the Jewish Community High School. There is free garage parking at the entrance on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. For more information contact Allison at (415) 567-3327, ext 703 or


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Lambda Literary Awards Jewish Transgender Anthology

Noach Dzmura editor of the anthology, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community has said, “no matter where you fall on the spectrum of Jewish observance, and no matter where you fall on the spectrum of gender identity, there is a home for you in the Jewish community.”  This message of finding a home for Gender Variant and Trans identified people is clearly one of the overarching messages that made Noach’s anthology a Lambda Literary Award winner in the category of Transgender Non-Fiction this last week.Noach Dzmura

“The Lammys” or The Lambda Literary Awards, have been awarding published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes since 1988. Although this is far from the first time a Jewish author or Jewish subject received a Lammy, this is the first time that an anthology devoted entirely to the encounter between Jewish life and practice, and transgender bodies has been awarded. Based on my experience working with Noach over the past few years, this book is the summary of his investment towards ensuring that transgender inclusion is an increasingly understood reality throughout the organized Jewish community.

A natural thought leader, Noach is a local Educator and Activist who holds a Masters Degree in both Instructional Design and Jewish Studies.  Together with Rachel Biale, Rebecca Weiner, Karen Earlichman, myself and Ruby Cymrot-Wu as part of our professional Bay Area LGBT Jewish collective, Kol Tzedek, he co-author a Transgender Inclusion Report that led to the creation of the Transgender Task Force at the Jewish Community Federation. Noach started the East Bay Transgender Chevra, has written for the Forward, Sh’ma, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle, Tikkun and Zeek. Through all of his varied local community experiences started the site, Jewish Transitions to help further convey the messages also found in the anthology.

Many of the writers in his anthology like Kate Bornstein, Rabbi Elliot Kukla, Rabbi Reuben Zellman, Charlotte Fonrobert, Maggid Jhos Singer, Eliron Hamburger and Chav Doherty are also active change-makers and thought-leaders with strong roots in our local Jewish community. Yasher Koach, to the leaders and writers from across North America that provided their powerful pieces to the anthology and continue to help navigate the path of transforming our collective understanding of the full spectrum of Jewish lives.

Noach Dzmura and many of the contributing essayists are available to speak with your organization, synagogue, chevra kadisha, ritual committee, or book club in a range of formats. Please connect with Noach at Jewish Transitions to learn more about how to have these important topics brought to your community.


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