Transgender Day of Remembrance Open Letter to the Rabbis and Jewish Congregations in Ottawa, Ontario

November 15, 2015
3 Kislev 5776

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday November 20th people around the world mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance. November 20th, the anniversary of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester in Allston, MA. The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was held on November 20, 1999. We remember all those who were killed because of anti-transgender prejudice or hatred. This day is marked in secular and faith communities. On this day we also remember those transgender people who have taken their own lives, in part because of the struggles and violence faced daily by transgender people.This year November 20th on the Gregorian Calendar falls partially on Shabbat. Common practice is for a vigil to take place in the evening on November 20. Given our location this means that the vigil coincides with Shabbat.
I am asking that you mark Transgender Day of Remembrance in your Shabbat service this week. The following prayer is from the Keshet web site Prayer for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The site contains resources and information about the Transgender Day of Remembrance and how various communities mark the day.

If you have any questions, or would like to meet with me to discuss transgender issues and / or how to support those in our communities who are transgender, please contact me.

Talia Johnson

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