Sex changes get blessing

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Halfway through a newly revised manual promoting inclusion for homosexual, bisexual and transgendered people in Judaism’s Reform movement are two short blessings written by a rabbi who was raised Eliza and now goes by Elliot.

The prayers for Jews undergoing sex changes are included in the 500-page second edition of a guide called Kulanu — Hebrew for “all of us” — published last week by the New York-based Union for Reform Judaism.

“Here you have a Jewish person who is undergoing a very momentous aspect of their personal journey, and they will reach into their tradition to have this affirmed in the way we do it: through a blessing,” said Rabbi Richard Address, an editor of the volume and director of the union’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns.

The union represents 900 Reform synagogues in North America. The largest branch of Judaism in North America, Reform Judaism allows homosexual rabbis and cantors.

The transgender blessings were written by Rabbi Elliot Kukla, who was ordained last year at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

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