ORLANDO, Fla. -- The largest movement of Judaism in the nation passed the most far-reaching resolution in support of transgender rights of any major religious organization, saying yesterday that it's a continuation of a tradition of inclusion in the Reform Jewish movement.
Members of the Union for Reform Judaism attending its biennial meeting in Orlando approved on a voice vote the resolution, which calls for congregations and camps to have gender-neutral bathrooms and encourages gender-neutral language at Reform Jewish institutions. It also suggests training on gender issues for religious school staff and encourages advocating on behalf of the transgender community.
There was no opposition, although three conference attendees who said they were in favor of the resolution asked if preschools and religious schools would be affected. Union for Reform Judaism leaders said they would be, but they weren't asking congregations to spend extra money on new facilities.
After the resolution passed, most of the 5,000-attendees in the meeting hall stood up and applauded.
The Union for Reform Judaism is offering a one-page pamphlet to help congregations adopt the goals of the resolution. It suggests dividing kids by birth month rather than gender in youth programming and avoiding using gender titles such as "Mr." or "Mrs." on name tags or in emails. It also suggests to ask congregants by which pronouns they would prefer to be called.
The resolution doesn't mandate congregations to do anything, so it will be up to individual synagogues to implement policies to meet the goals of the resolution. -- AP