By Rabbi Eliana Kayelle
The Jewish new year is almost upon us and it’s officially back-to-school season! While some students are excited to return to class, this can also be a time of anxiety and even fear for many LGBTQ+ students. Teachers and school staff have a huge impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ students, and can make them feel affirmed in their identities, or contribute to that anxiety. As attacks on the rights of LGBTQ+ youth, especially trans and nonbinary youth, increase, creating spaces of care is critical to protect these young people. All students deserve to feel safe in school and show up as their most authentic selves, so that they can focus on learning and growing into well rounded, happy adults. To meet this moment, support your students, and foster belonging in your classroom, check out our latest back-to-school resources:
We also have a letter, written by Rabbi Elliot Kukla, the first openly transgender ordained rabbi, that serves as a powerful reminder to transgender and nonbinary young people that “you are not alone and you are not a fad. […] You are a beloved, beautiful part of creation.” As the new school year begins, we hope these tips and tools will guide you towards creating spaces where all students can feel seen and celebrated.