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Stand with Trans series will focus on raising diverse, authentic Jewish families.

Through a grant from the Jewish Women’s Foundation, Stand with Trans will offer a series of workshops — “Be the Light” — geared to Jewish parents that deal with a variety of topics surrounding raising LGBTQ+ children.

Topics will include creating an LGBTQ+ inclusive community for Jewish families, parenting with love and acceptance, and hearing from those who’ve been through it. The workshops will look at these topics through a Jewish lens, exploring how values and Torah come into play.

Rabbi Yoni Dahlen Special to the Jewish News
Rabbi Yonatan Dahlen Photo via Stand with Trans Facebook

The first event is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield. Featured speakers are Rabbi Yonatan Dahlen of Shaarey Zedek, Dr. Daniel Shumer, clinical director of the Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, and Sara Wiener, M.S.W., director of mental health services within Child & Adolescent Gender Services at Mott Hospital.

At this event, participants will learn to understand the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation; discuss the coming-out process, including transitioning, pronoun changes, hormones and surgery; explore Jewish values regarding communal responsibility and creating sanctuaries, obligation vs. kindness, and compassion and forgiveness; and learn ways to be more inclusive in their homes.

The second event is at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, April 7, at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. Rabbi Becca Walker and Monica Sampson, M.S.W., will present practical learning about accepting parenting practices.

The third in the series is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township. A panel of parents and LGBTQ+ identified individuals will share their stories. Lite refreshments will be served at each event.

Go to standwithtrans.org/upcoming-events/be-the-light to register. There is no charge to attend and the workshops are open to the community.

Sara Weiner, MSW Photo via Stand with Trans Facebook

Stand with Trans is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide the tools needed by transgender youth so they will be empowered, supported and validated as they transition to their authentic life.

When Hunter, the son of Stand with Trans’ Executive Director Roz Gould Keith, first came out as a transgender male at age 13, the Keiths had nowhere to go for support. They felt alone and lost.

Dr. Daniel Shumer Photo via Stand with Trans Facebook

“Within the year, Temple Israel was calling with resources and let us know that our family was always welcome (at Temple),” Roz Keith said. “It’s a tough road and we feel blessed to have had the support of the Jewish community from the Frankel Jewish Academy to Temple Israel to Camp Tamarack — everyone has had our backs.”

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