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‘Fighting for Their Lives’ program will discuss trans and gender-diverse identities

The Levite Jewish Community Center will host “Fighting for Their Lives: Understanding Trans and Gender-Diverse Identities” on Sunday, September 10, at 4 p.m. The program will feature a live interview with Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, conducted by Richard Friedman, associate editor of Southern Jewish Life magazine.

Dr. Morissa Ladinsky is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The event, co-sponsored by the Levite Jewish Community Center and Southern Jewish Life, is free and open to the public.

Get tickets here.

“This educational program reflects our deep commitment to supporting vulnerable communities,” says Brooke Bowles, executive director at The J. “It also feeds our continual desire to explore contemporary issues within a Jewish context.”

Understanding trans and gender-diverse identities has become complex. As more and more families encounter the world of gender fluidity, they often are perplexed and even frightened as they strive to navigate unfamiliar terrain. Meanwhile, suicide rates among transitioning teens remain alarmingly high.

No one knows this better than Ladinsky, who is co-leader of a UAB team that provides gender-affirming care to transgender youth and teens and support to their families. 

During the event, Ladinsky will explain gender transitioning, give an update on the pending Alabama law that would criminalize doctors providing gender-affirming care to minors, and reflect on her work and advocacy from a Jewish perspective.

For his part, Friedman was honored recently by the American Jewish Press Association for a story he wrote about Ladinsky, her work, and the strength and motivation she draws from her Judaism: “Fighting for their Lives: Jewish Pediatrician in the Middle of Alabama‘s Transgender Battles.

Both Friedman and Ladinsky are members of The J.

“We thank the LJCC for inviting us to co-sponsor this Q&A,” says Larry Brook, editor and publisher of Southern Jewish Life. “The increasing societal and governmental hostility toward those who are gender fluid, along with the proliferation of misinformation, illustrates the need for a program like this. 

“Our goal at Southern Jewish Life is not only to provide quality journalism but — like The J — to also be an educational resource.”