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Containing Multitudes: Gender, Identity, and Judaism

Hosted By: Park Avenue Synagogue

Dr. Joy Ladin is not only an award-winning educator, scholar, and poet, she also is the first openly transgender professor at Yeshiva University. Since coming out as the university’s first openly transgender employee in 2008, she has become a nationally recognized speaker on transgender issues. In celebration of Pride Month, Dr. Ladin and Rabbi Cosgrove will discuss gender, faith, and how Jewish communities can affirm diverse identities. The event is sponsored by both the Adult Ed department and Inclusion committee as part of the Pride Month celebration. A celebrated poet, Dr. Ladin has a unique approach to tackling questions of gender in the Hebrew Bible.

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Teachers

Dr. Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, and, in 2007, became the first (and still only) openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. A poet, memoirist, and essayist, she long worked at the intersection of gender identity, religious tradition, and literature. Her memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award, and prompted conversations about trans and Jewish identities around country. Her most recent book, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, a Lambda Literary Award and Triangle Award finalist, is the first book-length work of trans theology from a Jewish perspective. Recognized as a founding exponent of trans poetics, she has published nine books of poetry, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists and, most recently, The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something: New and Selected Poems. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, among other honors. She serves on the Board of Keshet, an organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ Jews in the Jewish world.
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Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove

Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD, is Senior Rabbi at Park Avenue Synagogue. began his tenure at Park Avenue Synagogue in 2008. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999, Rabbi Cosgrove earned his PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His dissertation on Rabbi Louis Jacobs, a leading Anglo-Jewish theologian of the 20th century, reflects his passion for the intersection of Jewish scholarship and faith. Rabbi Cosgrove is the author of twelve collections of selected sermons and the editor of Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief. 

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Host

Park Avenue Synagogue

Through spirited prayer, study, observance and acts of kindness we aspire to foster deep connections with each other, our Torah, our God, the people and State of Israel and our shared humanity. In practicing a Judaism filled with love, literacy, reverence, compassion, and joy, we strive to make our ancient tradition compelling and welcoming to contemporary Jewry and to serve as a light unto our fellow Jews and the nations.
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