Rachel Klein (she/her) grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as a member of LabShul. She recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Organizational Studies and minors in Political Science and Music. Rachel also spent a semester abroad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a fellow on the Nachshon Project. At Michigan, Rachel served as a Serve the Moment intern, Engagement Intern, and Mitzvot Fellow at the University of Michigan Hillel, where she worked to bring together her passions of Jewish programming and social justice. Rachel also interned for Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) in her Ypsilanti field office and on a few congressional campaigns, where she learned the impact her work could have on real people and communities. Rachel loved spending her last 13 summers at URJ Camp Harlam. This past summer, Rachel was a supervisor of the Gesher (Counselor in Training) program, working with 17-year-olds to develop their leadership skills.
Transgender Awareness Week is a chance to educate the public. It is important for people who are not part of the trans community to understand the oppression transgender and gender-expansive people face every day. While it is always important to affirm trans identities, Transgender Awareness Week provides an opportunity to center the voices of trans and gender-expansive people.
In late August, the FBI released its annual compilation of hate crimes statistics, summarizing all hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2020. The data is alarming and only tells part of the story, as an increasing number of law enforcement agencies did not report data to the FBI. A new law will strengthen hate crimes data collection, reporting, and response measures, giving us hope that future statistics will be more accurate.