The Butler University Center for Faith and Vocation and Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Social Justice present “Trans Lives in American Jewish Contexts” on January 24 at 7:00 PM in the Shelton Auditorium at Christian Theological Seminary, part of the series Religion and Trans Lives in a Global Perspective.

All events in the series are free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-8253.’s comedy series Transparent, while not uncontroversial, has been noteworthy for prominently featuring both Jewish and trans characters. Yet many outside of the Jewish community know little about how conversations about trans lives and rights have advanced within it. From the recent Reform Judaism “Resolution on the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People” to the TransTorah project, trans people and issues have gained increased visibility in recent years among American Jewish communities. This visibility has prompted many new questions and creative responses as Jewish scholars and communities work to envision what Judaism might look like in a post-binary world, and to apply ancient traditions in new ways.


Reuben Zellman

Reuben Zellman

Reuben Zellman is Director of Music at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, California, a lecturer in the music department at San Francisco State University, and a countertenor specializing in early music. Rabbi Reuben was the first openly transgender person to be accepted to a rabbinical seminary. An activist and educator in the transgender community, Rabbi Reuben has written extensively about gender identity, sexuality, and Judaism and has taught at congregations, conferences, and universities around the United States, Latin America, and Israel.




Brett Krichiver is a rabbi at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. He is a founding clergy member of IndyCAN, a community-organizing group partnering with religious institutions city-wide. He also serves as a Board Member at Second Helpings and Planned Parenthood and participates in the Northside Clergy Group, creating interfaith programming throughout Indianapolis.

The Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs is a program of the Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University, promoting understanding of interfaith and intercultural relations through the discussion of religious issues in global perspectives.

The Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice, a joint project of Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary, promotes the legacy of Archbishop Desmond Tutu with his holistic understanding of reconciliation grounded in justice, human dignity, and social transformation.

The Seminar on Religion and Trans Lives in a Global Perspective has been generously supported by the following Butler University departments: the Efroymson Diversity Center; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Global and Historical Studies; and Philosophy, Religion, and Classics.


Media contact:
Marc Allan