The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
Urgency of Now: Transgender Rights Campaign Day of Action in observance of International Transgender Day of Visibility March 31
This day is an opportunity to celebrate and affirm the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, while also recognizing the violence and discrimination that is still perpetrated against transgender people today. It also falls during the Jewish holiday of Passover, when we commemorate and celebrate the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. During Passover, we pause as Jews to remember that although we celebrate freedom, our freedom is tinged by the continued oppression of communities in the United States and around the globe. It is during Passover that we are reminded of our continued commitment to call out injustice.
It is in this spirit that we are calling on congregations to participate in a public action to protect transgender and gender non-conforming students in their own school districts. Below you will find a sample letter with language that you can use to either thank your local school district in the case that it has school district policy that protects students on account of gender identity and gender expression, or another letter in the case that your local school district does not provide these protections.
Either way, this action is an opportunity to show your community that you are committed to the protection of transgender and gender non-conforming students as Jews. The letters are intended to be catered to your community; there is no prescriptive, singular way to use the letters. We encourage each congregational team to edit the letter to fit their community.
We recommend that you take action according to the following steps:
1. Put a team together: Gather a group of clergy, lay leaders and maybe other local LGBTQ activists or faith denominations to spearhead this action in your community
2. Research policies in your area: All school district policies can be found online. To find yours, you will need to go to the school district website, find the board of education, and search “transgender” or “gender” in the policies. Policies vary greatly between school districts. For reference, click here to see a model school district policy.
3. Register your action: We are requesting that all who participate in the TDOV action register their action with the RAC. It is important, as we continue to speak with a national and unified voice in favor of transgender rights, that we know the scope and impact of our campaigns. You can also request additional support from RAC staff or members of the Transgender Rights Campaign Leadership Team. Register your action here: RAC.org/TDOV
4. Make a plan: You will need to adapt the letter, decide on a method of delivery, decide on a recipient, decide who will sign your letter, and make a plan for publicizing your action – will you post it on social media or write an op-ed? Both versions of the letter can be accessed here: https://rac.org/tdov-2018-letters
5. Take Action: Because March 31 overlaps with this year’s celebration of Passover, we are asking that all actions be carried out between March 26 and April 6, 2018.
Search URJ.org and the other Reform websites: