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Esther’s mother already had a child come out as gay and feared that Esther, 14, would have trouble finding a Jewish community that would be accepting and inclusive.The family was already planning for Esther’s bat mitzvah, but with the new revelation, Miriam wondered how her child could be comfortable taking part in a Jewish ceremony whose very name — bar mitzvah for boys and bat mitzvah for girls — is gendered.
“What we’re seeing now is that there are families and there are congregations that are very open to exploring with the kids that are becoming bar and bat mitzvah how they want to be identified,” Kaye told JTA.
The Thorpe family worked with the student rabbi of their synagogue, York Liberal Jewish Community, to adapt the ceremony, which was held in December.
“A real frontier for the work that Keshet does these days is around gender identity and gender diversity, a lot around transgender inclusion and making sure non-binary and trans youth are included,” Bell told JTA.
The Union for Reform Judaism — the congregational arm of the movement in the United States — has a toolkit for synagogues that includes a section on how to tailor b’nei mitzvah ceremonies to align with the child’s gender identity, said Rabbi Leora Kaye, director of program.
The city’s Jewish history is mainly known for a 12th-century anti-Semitic massacre in which all the Jewish residents were killed.
Despite the adaptations, there were still some lingering issues.Though immediate friends and family were respectful of Esther’s gender identity, others gave “bat mitzvah” cards and gifts geared toward girls, Miriam Thorpe said.“It was quite easy to make the service be reflective of [Esther being] non-binary, once you have a rabbi that’s on board with it and you have a congregation that’s prepared to take that through,” she said, “and as soon as you left the service you’re back to it’s either a bar mitzvah or a bat mitzvah and there’s nothing in between.” Still, Esther is happy about how things turned out. “I feel part of a community, accepted and acknowledged.”The phrase "traditional two genders that we happen to have just because of history" is one of the stupidest utterances ever to come out of an ostensibly-human mouth.Esther uses “they” as a singular pronoun rather than “he” or “she.” Before settling on b’nei mitzvah, Webber looked for other possibilities.He found that other non-binary people had used terms such as “ban mitzvah” (“ban” is a made-up word that combines the Hebrew words for boy and girl, “ben” and “bat”) and “zera mitzvah” (“zera” means seed or offspring in Hebrew).“If you have a name that doesn’t give that tie into your family and your history, you are much more isolated, and that compounds isolation that I know Esther still does feel — if you are non-binary or trans and you are the only person in your shul that are already in a different position,” Thorpe said.In the end Esther chose “Esther m’beit Miriam,” meaning “Esther from the house of Miriam.” In addition to the liturgical changes, Esther had of course to read their Torah portion and write a drash, or sermon.“I was quite concerned because if something is important in your coming of age, it should reflect who you are in a person and not squeeze you into the traditional two genders that we happen to have just because of history,” Miriam, who lives with her husband, Martyn, and seven children in the village of Otterburn, in northeast England, told JTA.As transgender and gender nonconforming people gain more acceptance, synagogues are having to think about how to welcome those with a diverse set of gender identities.Genesis Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Isaiah Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,... And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Romans -22, 28 More evidence that modern Judaism--especially of the Reformed variety--is not at all the religion given by God, but is among the works of the Devil that the Lord Jesus Christ will destroy with the brightness of His coming, is provided by the following, as reported by Josefin Dalston of Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 1, 2018 (links in original): When Esther Thorpe came out as non-binary a year ago, identifying neither as male nor female, Miriam Taylor Thorpe was worried.