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Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community


Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community Cover

ISBN13: 9781556438134
ISBN10: 1556438133
Condition: Standard
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Publisher Comments:

***WINNER, 2011 Lambda Literary Award - Transgender Non-Fiction

While the Jewish mainstream still argues about homosexuality, transgender and gender-variant people have emerged as a distinct Jewish population and as a new chorus of voices. Inspired and nurtured by the successes of the feminist and LGBT movements in the Jewish world, Jews who identify with the “T” now sit in the congregation, marry under the chuppah, and create Jewish families. Balancing on the Mechitza offers a multifaceted portrait of this increasingly visible community.

The contributors—activists, theologians, scholars, and other transgender Jews—share for the first time in a printed volume their theoretical contemplations as well as rite-of-passage and other transformative stories. Balancing on the Mechitza introduces readers to a secular transwoman who interviews her Israeli and Palestinian peers and provides cutting-edge theory about the construction of Jewish personhood in Israel; a transman who serves as legal witness for a man (a role not typically open to persons designated female at birth) during a conversion ritual; a man deprived of testosterone by an illness who comes to identify himself with passion and pride as a Biblical eunuch; and a gender-variant person who explores how to adapt the masculine and feminine pronouns in Hebrew to reflect a non-binary gender reality.

About the Author

Noach Dzmura is an instructor at the Progressive Jewish Alliance. His writings have appeared in  Sh’ma, the Jewish Chronicle (UK), Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, and other publications. The recipient of the Haas-Koshland Award, he lives in Berkeley, CA.

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transnjewy, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by transnjewy)
This is the first anthology of trans Jewish writing published, and it gathers some of the most compelling and current work about Judaism and gender today. While there are big-name contributors like Judith Plaskow, the anthology also introduces the first pieces of many new authors, making me hope that these folks continue to write and publish. I particularly loved Joy Ladin's theological reflections and Ari Lev Fornari's contribution.

The occasional unevenness of submissions aside, this is an important, interesting contribution to trans studies/religious studies, and belongs on the bookshelves of anyone interested in religion and gender.
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Product Details

Dzmura, Noach
North Atlantic Books
Sexuality & Gender Studies
Judaism - General
Transgenderism - Religious aspects - Judaism
Jewish transgender people - Religious life
Religion Miscellaneous-Sexuality and Gender Studies
Religion World-Sexuality and Gender Studies
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 5.95 x 0.8 in 0.95 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Transgender
Religion » Judaism » General
Religion » Judaism » Thought and Culture
Religion » World Religions » Sexuality and Gender Studies

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Product details 288 pages North Atlantic Books - English 9781556438134 Reviews:
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