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FIrst Transgender Rabbi, Reuben Zelman, to be Ordained

Five former Or Ami interns – Jordana Chernow-Reader, Ari Margolis, Dan Medwin, Lydia Bloom Medwin, and Sara Mason-Barkin – will be ordained Rabbi this Sunday at Hebrew Union College’s Ordination ceremony.  Be sure that I will blog about that on Monday. 

Also exciting is the ordination of Reuben Zellman, the first transgender Rabbi.  The Jewish Journal writes:

As a child, Reuben Zellman found life anything but cut-and-dry. “I’ve always had a complicated gender identity,” he said. “As a kid, I liked both boys’ and girls’ clothes, and both boys’ and girls’ toys.”

At 20, Reuben — who grew up as Claire — made the decision to begin living life as a man. “That’s what was right for me,” he said simply, declining to elaborate on his personal history.

Several years later, he said, he found his calling: to become a rabbi. In 2003, Zellman became the first transgender rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and, for that matter, in the entire Jewish community.  Read on.

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