As Jews our responsibility is to embrace the gender identity of each individual not only in our communities but in society at large. That means repealing transphobic legislation like North Carolina's HB2.
Rabbi Jesse Olitzky
Rabbi Olitzky serves as rabbi and spiritual leader of Congregation Beth El in South Orange, N.J. He received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition to ordination, he received an MA in Jewish Education from JTS’ William Davidson School of Education, a BA in American Religion from Columbia University and a BA Cum Laude from the Albert A. List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Talmud. Previously, Olitzky served as part of the rabbinic team at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in Jacksonville, FL. Currently, he is a part of the Rabbinical Assembly's Social Justice Commission, working to bring issues of social justice to the forefront of the Jewish community. You can follow him on Twitter at @JMOlitzky or on his personal blog at rabbiolitzky.wordpress.com
Olitzky is a contributing blogger for Haaretz Jewish World.
We are leading the movement to protest the Republican frontrunner at AIPAC's conference because we feel compelled to stand on the other side of a great moral divide, in solidarity with those Trump has routinely denigrated: our Muslim, Mexican, Latino, immigrant, female, disabled and LGBTQI brothers and sisters.
Social justice is a central tenet of Judaism. Why, then, are rabbis and synagogues afraid to broach it?
Pride Month is the perfect time to celebrate the sexual orientations and gender identities of all our community members.
When using resources harms the very Earth we are responsible for, we need to reevaluate our actions.
Why the Jewish community must be reawakened to praying with our feet, and recommit to participating in the ongoing struggle for civil rights.
The Jewish community, once pilgrims ourselves, must embrace those who enter our lands in search of new beginnings and opportunities.
The Torah has much to teach us about Labor Day.
Not eating meat for the 'nine days' allows us to reflect on how much food we waste and how many animals we kill unnecessarily.
#BringBackOurBoys matters not because it can solve anything, but because it raises awareness and ultimately unites us as a people.
The owner of the LA Clippers has given tens of thousands of dollars annually to local Jewish causes. Taking a stand against his racism means refusing his charity.
Slavery is a modern concern in the Southwest Florida tomato fields. As we celebrate our freedom this Passover, may we join the struggle against exploitative labor.
As a Jew, celebrating MLB Opening Day together with the Hebrew month of Nissan means embracing a clean slate.
The Michael Dunn case shows that the world will only become a better place when we learn to embrace the other and stop being quick to pull the trigger.
Egalitarianism is more than simply allowing women equal opportunity to engage in Jewish rituals; it’s about encouraging them to do so.
Instead of taking a day off, Jews should make Christmas a 'day on;’ with community service for those in need.
We - educators, clergy, parents and community members - are to blame, as bullying turns our sacred spaces into ground zero for exclusion and abuse.
The Jewish family no longer comprises two Jewish parents and 2.5 children. If Jewish shuls, centers and schools acknowledged this, they might earn the same success as the TV show.