2013 GILBERTO CASTAÑEDA LECTURE
Please join us on Thursday, April 25 for a reception at 5:15 and the lecture at 6:30pm. Admission to the reception and lecture is free and open to the public, please RSVP by April 20 using the form below.
Dying Real: Jewish Burial Cutsoms and Gender Variant Bodies
In this year's Castenada lecture, Noach Dzmura will speak about present day Jewish burial customs across the spectrum of Jewish practice in the United States. In particular he will focus on the burial society or chevra kadisha in Hebrew transliteration, and on the ritual washing practice called tahara. In Jewish tradition, it is customary for men to prepare men's bodies for burial, and women to prepare the bodies of women. What happens when the deceased was intersex? transsexual? Transgender with only 'top surgery'? Genderqueer? Because of their different ways of relating to Jewish legal traditions or halacha, conservative communities are restricted from moving away from tradition, while liberal communities are not. Dzmura will speak to some of the issues that arise in these communities when transgender people express the desire to "Die Real" -- honoring in death the life choices they have made, as well as the bodies that have lived those choices.
About the Speaker: Noach Dzmura
Noach Dzmura, is a graduate of the Graduate Theological Union, editor of the Lambda Literary Award winning anthology, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community (2010), Director of the non-profit, Jewish Transitions, and an adjunct instructor for Starr King School for the Ministry, where he also serves as Director of Educational Technology and Executive Assistant to the Provost and the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.