Meryl alcabes photography 2017 ethan blustein for jis 0115 tdtb5d

Image: Meryl Alcabes

What does being Jewish mean to you? 

I was raised in the suburbs of Chicago and always understood that being Jewish meant being part of something bigger. That also meant being part of positive change in the world. As I grew into young adulthood, being Jewish became about understanding my white identity and its intersections with Judaism. I began to question how my Jewish identity intersects with my transgender and queer identities. I have learned that being white, queer, poly, and transgender inform the ways I am Jewish, and vice versa. Being Jewish at this point in my life means valuing my ancestors, my teachers — white Jews, Jews
of color, queer, and trans Jews — and utilizing those teachings to further my commitment to undoing institutionalized
racism and beyond.    

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