My Transgender Journey: Two Life Changing Paths

Posted by Yiscah Smith on July 28, 2019
Topics: Pardes Live and Mini-Series

summer program abby stein

On Wednesday August 24, 2019 (21 Tamuz 5779), the Pardes Summer Program hosted Yiscah Smith (Pardes Faculty) and Abby Stein, an ex-Haredi transgender author and activist. They discussed their gender transition; the feelings and challenges, the pain, the honesty and the joy of their personal stories. It was thought-provoking and inspiring.

One student wrote: “Yesterday’s talk … was transformative, showing how a high level of truthful, personal authenticity can coexist with love of Jewish learning and Jewish practice.”

This recording was part of the Pardes Summer 2019 Program and an ongoing series we are kicking off on the topic of “Identity”. If you are interested in joining us this winter or next summer, please visit or for more details.

Hosts: Yiscah Smith and Abby Stein
Executive Producer: Adam Titcher
Sound editor and Co-Producer: Evan Feist

Abby Stein is an American transgender author, activist, blogger, model, rabbi, and speaker. She is the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community, and is a direct descendant of Hasidic Judaism’s founder the Baal Shem Tov.

About Yiscah Smith

Yiscah is a Jewish educator, spiritual activist and published author who addresses the spiritual practice of encountering the Divine spark within, the foundation of authentic living. She employs her personal story of ​the joys and struggles with her spirituality, Jewish tradition and commitment to authentic living. As a spiritual trailblazer, she exemplifies what it means to carve one’s own path: understanding one’s inner being and cultivating the integrity to remaining faithful to that understanding, unapologetically. Yiscah encourages, ennobles and empowers others to do the same. Yiscah is adjunct faculty and teaches Jewish meditative practice and spiritual texts at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and in her home in Jerusalem. She provides as well spiritual mentoring to individuals seeking an awareness of the Divine spark within. Yiscah is also a public speaker, both in Israel and abroad. Click here to read more. Yiscah is teaching the practice of Authentic Jewish Living. To learn more and support the creation of more podcasts please visit Yiscah Smith on patreon.

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