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Trans woman helps a UK Orthodox synagogue complete a minyan

‘I asked her permission so as not to offend her. She was fine with it,’ rabbi says of quorum that requires 10 men

Princes Road synagogue in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Google Street View)
Princes Road synagogue in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Google Street View)

A transgender woman in the United Kingdom recently helped an Orthodox synagogue in Liverpool complete a minyan despite not being a man by gender.

The Princes Road synagogue asked the woman to complete the prayer quorum on the first day of the Sukkot holiday, September 21, the Jewish News reported, in turn citing The Jewish Telegraph. According to Jewish law, 10 men are the minimum needed to hold a prayer service.

“According to Jewish law, she can be counted in a minyan and we were one person short,” said the synagogue’s Rabbi Yigal Wachmann. “We took into account her sensitivities. I asked her permission so as not to offend her. She was fine with it.”

The woman sat in the women’s section throughout the service, according to the newspaper.

“It’s always good to see Jewish communities such as Princes Road welcoming and including their trans members,” said Dalia Fleming, Executive Director of Keshet UK, which supports LGBT+ Jews

“There’s no one model that works for every community or Jewish trans person, and many communities are just starting to work this through. In the meanwhile, Keshet UK really wants to see these conversations are reported sensitively and kindly, to avoid causing hurt to LGBT+ people, and to give communities and their LGBT+ members time and space to create an authentic approach that works for them.”

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