By James Cohen
Joy Ladin has long worked at the tangled intersection of literature, Judaism, and transgender identity, publishing a memoir of gender transition, National Jewish Book Award finalist Through the Door of Life the first book-length work of Jewish trans theology, Lambda Literary and Triangle Award finalist, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, and ten books of poetry, including Shekhinah Speaks (selva oscura 2022) and 2021 National Jewish Book Award winner The Book of Anna. She became a nationally recognized speaker on trans and Jewish identity after her transition at Yeshiva University made her the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution, and has been named to both the “Forward Fifty” list of influential or courageous Jews and to LGBTQ Nation’s Top 50 Transgender Americans list, and featured on a number of NPR programs, including an “On Being” with Krista Tippett interview that has been rebroadcast several times. Her writing has been recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, and a Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research Fellowship, among other honors. Episodes of her online conversation series, “Containing Multitudes,” are available at JewishLive.org/multitudes; her writing is available at joyladin.wordpress.com.