Abby Stein here, rabbi by training, activist by work, proud trans woman, and member of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice. 

Something that often gets lost in the retelling of JFREJ history is that most of our founding members were anti-war lesbians; veterans of ACT UP and Palestinian solidarity organizing. The legacies and threads of those movements are woven through JFREJ history and into our current organizing – from policing to housing to hate violence to the care economy and beyond.  

And we do it in style. I’m excited to share that back by popular demand, and just in time for Pride Month, we’re printing a new round of TERFs are TREYF shirts – this time in pink! Click here to get yours.


TERF: a term for Trans Exclusionary Radical [self-identified] "Feminists" - albeit nothing feminist about it. It’s a shorthand term for hateful transphobic bigots who try to claim their transphobia is about ‘protecting women and girls’ from women like me.

TREYF: a Yiddish (derived from Biblical Hebrew) term for non-kosher food. Also comes with additional meaning when talking about predatory killer animals who aren't kosher because of their behaviors (called Toref V'Dores in Hebrew).


This fierce affirmation – that transphobia isn’t kosher and that trans people are sacred – matters. Across the country, we’re witnessing a flood of violent, state-sponsored attacks on trans people with the explicit goal of eradicating us from public life: banning access to life-saving healthcare, forcibly outing trans kids to their parents, or even forcibly taking trans kids away from their gender-affirming parents.

Some people assume that places like New York City are safe from these attacks. But just like in other parts of the country, right-wing transphobes – including members of the hate group, Moms for Liberty – have gotten a foothold in NYC public school community education councils (CECs - NYC’s version of school boards). In one upper Manhattan district, they managed to pass a resolution banning trans girls from sports. The same people responsible for this hateful resolution are also targeting Black women CEC leaders who have expressed solidarity with Palestinians. All of these attacks are part of the far-right’s broader “anti-woke” agenda.

I’m proud and grateful that JFREJ members have been organizing around this. Check out this video of Megan Madison, JFREJ’s former board chair and an early childhood education expert, testifying at a CEC meeting against the anti-trans resolution.

As we begin Pride Month 2024, and get ready to celebrate Shavuot 5784, join us in our commitment to building a better New York City dedicated to equality, justice, and liberation for all. Whether through this fabulous TERFs are TREYF t-shirt, through joining JFREJ as a member, and through showing up with us on the streets, may we all have a happy pride, one that marks and continues the legacy of our earliest pride months back to Stonewall: one of resistance and commitment to a better future.

חודש גאווה שמח - א פרייליכען "זייט'ס שטאלץ" מאנאט!

Happy Pride!
Rabbi Abby Stein (she/her)
Jews For Racial & Economic Justice