Writing Rituals

Found In: Gender & Sexual Identity

Tags: LGBTIQ

We shared ideas for new rituals and prayers and worked together in hevrutah (with partners) to create new additions that honor, celebrate, and offer support for the experiences of transgender and genderqueer people.

Last fall, our friends and colleagues at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College approached Ritualwell to partner with their TGQ (transgender/genderqueer) working group on a series of ritual-writing workshops.  We discussed how many traditional Jewish lifecycle moments and their associated liturgies are not inclusive of TGQ people.  We also brainstormed the moments in the lives of LGBTIQ Jews that might benefit from a blessing, prayer, or ritual.

The plan was to come together as a community in a series of ritual writing workshops during which members of the group could pool their creative ritual energy.  We shared ideas for new rituals and prayers and worked together in hevrutah (with partners) to create new additions that honor, celebrate, and offer support for the experiences of TGQ people.

In the end the group generated inspiring new rituals, and initiated some interesting conversations on topics such as how to think about a Hebrew name without using the gendered language of “ben (son)” or “bat (daughter).”

The experience of carving out time to share ideas and work together was exciting and productive.  Everyone brought their own unique perspectives and experiences to the writing table, and we were able to bounce ideas around until each reaching a finished product.  Participants in the workshop showed that in a world where we all have more on our “to-do” list than there are hours in the day, ritual-writing workshops can facilitate the creation of innovative rituals.  

(*The TGQ group is composed of RRC faculty and students and has been working to educate students, faculty staff and the broader Jewish community about how to be welcoming and supportive of transgender and genderqueer people.)