My Name is Maxwell Zachs, I am an out and very proud-to-be Transgender Jew from a North London Reform Community. I was over the moon to be asked to become a Patron of Rainbow Jews as it is a project as interesting as it is necessary.
I believe in my heart that there have always been Queer Jews. Just as women feature less prominently in our historical texts, cultural activities and spiritual practices than men, so LGBTQ people have been excluded to the benefit of heteronormative narratives. We have not always been visible but we have always been present.
We must of course mourn the loss of the queer-Jewish h*stories that are lost to us, that have been edited from our texts and erased from our genealogies just as much as we must celebrate that we are now in a place to put right some of those wrongs and leave a legacy for the future.
The Rainbow Jews Project not only celebrates our ongoing survival and prosperity in the face of often very difficult circumstances, it sets it down as a record and a legacy. My hope for the future is that one day no queer person will be faced with the same challenges of having to chose between their sexuality and their synagogue or their chosen gender and their chosen people.
This project is yet another step on the journey to a Judaism that is stronger and more vibrant for its celebration of diversity. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to participate as fully as possible, to share their stories, to speak truth to power and to help build a monument and a memorial to Rainbow Jews everywhere.
Founder of Queer and Transgender Jews UK
ATTENTION: I know that Rainbow Jews are desperate to speak to LGBT Jews about their stories, and so far transgender and gender queer people are under represented in this process so I strongly urge you all to get in contact with this form! They assure me that you can stillparticipate anonymously http://www.rainbowjews.com/contact-form/