An open letter from parents and allies to Jewish leaders: our trans kids need you.

Join with other parents and allies of Jewish trans kids and call on Jewish community leaders to take action for trans rights and dignity. Sign the letter below.

We are parents, family members, loved ones, and friends of of trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive children. We are Jews, and we are under attack. For the safety and wellbeing of our children and our community, we call upon you to act now.

Politicians across the country deny our humanity, ignore health professionals, and restrict our freedoms. Legislators put up for debate our children’s bodies and very lives. Our kids are beautiful, Jewish, and dignified. And yet we live in daily fear. We know from experience that these attacks threaten our children’s identities and jeopardize their lives.

Pikuach nefesh – saving a life – is the greatest mitzvah in Judaism. What our children need is to be embraced by their communities and for Jewish leaders to express unequivocally that they stand with them.

Take action: Check in with your trans and LGBQ+ community members. Ask how you can help.

Over 500 anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ bills and policies have been introduced across the country just this year. They ban our children from participating in sports, prevent them from being able to use the bathroom, and criminalize their healthcare.

As Hayden Cohen, a queer 18-year-old in Texas, told Keshet in this piece in the Forward, “It’s been very, very difficult. The state is really coming for everyone I love. If we saw federations and other major Jewish institutions really advocating for LGBTQ rights, I think that so many other communities would follow suit. That could change the game here for everyone.” 

Use your voice and your platform to speak out for our kids and our community. Follow the lead of the Central Conference for Reform Rabbis, who issued a powerful resolution defending transgender people. Demand that your elected officials take action for trans rights and LGBTQ+ equality.

Take action: Join the hundreds of Jewish organizations organizing together through the Keshet- and SOJOURN-sponsored Thrive: The Jewish Coalition to Defend Trans and LGBQ+ youth.

We salute the strength and bravery of Jewish parents like Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, Rabbi Daniel Bogard, and Senator Karen Berg who are at the forefront of fighting these dangerous bills in their home states of Missouri and Kentucky. 

Maharat Picker Neiss told KSMU Ozarks Public Radio, “I have been devastated by the progress of these bills. I don’t think that anyone can fully express the damage that these bills have already caused and are going to cause to individuals across our state, particularly trans youth. They have allowed for people to think that this is appropriate behavior, that it is OK to specifically target one group of people and discriminate against the population.”

As Jews, this is a story we know too well. And we know that none of us are free until all of us are free.

Take action: If your community is directly affected by anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, give testimony, join a protest, and amplify the voices of trans folks in your community.

Take action: If your state is not the focus of these attacks, reach out to your colleagues in communities where they are.

Our children have no agenda but to live their lives. The Torah demands of us: “You must not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor” (Vayikra 19:16). 

We call upon you to recognize: today is the day to stand for trans youth and all LGBTQ+ rights. Now is the time when the Jewish community must respond to those who sow fear with our deepest love and our strongest determination for a future of dignity, equality, and justice.

Rabbis Scott and Donni Aaron Rabbi Heather Altman Jonathan Bloom and Eric Pliner Rabbi Daniel Bogard Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael Luis Burgos Lisa Capelouto and Paul Bernstein Madison Cissell Dr. Phoebe Cushman Jamie Dotan Rabbi Sue Fendrick and Dr. Ben Kruskal Diana Schutt Franklin Shai Franklin Naama Friedman Robin Keller Friedman Beth Goldman Stacy Goldsmith Michael Greenberg and Tamar Rubinstein Robin Dale Hait Sydney Hait Batsheva Halberstam, PhD Rabbi Lauren and Jon Grabelle Herrmann Rabbi Lauren Hotzblatt Stephanie Kane Rabbi Greg Kanter Gale Kaufman Heidi Kaufman Lackowitz
Linda and Brian Kingsbury Shira Kline Joy Ladin Esther Leibowitz Rabbi Shoshana Leis Naomi Less Naomi Gurt Lind Minyan Maor Jared Matas Jeffrey Mazur Rabbis Ari and Evan Moffic Rabbi Mike Moskowitz Maharat Rori Picker Neiss and Russel Neiss Debby Olins Tamar Prager Danielle Reiffe Jody Rogovin Yael Rosenbloom Jessica Rozenshteyn Adam and Lori Simon Alyson Slutzky Lisa and Jeffrey Stanton Stanton Miranda Hellmond Stone Chani Sugarman Elizabeth Weatherholtz Cheryl Weiner Susan Weiner

View the full list of signatories here.

Please sign on to the letter using the below form.  Then, share this letter with others in your networks and Jewish communities.

Question or Comments:  please reach out to Jon Cohen, Director of Community Mobilization, at