Step Into The Circle

Participants stand in a circle and are asked to step in if a statement applies to them. After all the statements are read, participants are asked if they want to share any reflections on what they noticed.

April 1, 2009

Time: 10 minutes
Materials: List of statements below or your own list of statements
Audience: Students from 6th grade through college, Adults
Note: This activity requires movement, you will need to take note of anyone who has challenges with mobility. One suggestion would be to give those people something soft to throw across the circle. You can also modify the activity to have everyone throw something into the circle or signal that a statement applies to them in some other way.

  1. Have all the participants stand in a circle.
  2. Explain to participants that you are going to read a list of statements. If the statement applies to them, they should walk into the circle and then find a new place to stand. They do not need to cross the circle if they are uncomfortable doing so, instead they can stand in place and simply note what thoughts occur to them as others cross the circle.
  3. Tell participants that this activity is done in silence. People should not comment on other’s actions, comment on statements, or share their or other’s reactions to statements. There will be time at the end of the activity to discuss what people noticed.
  4. Read some or all of the statements below. (Note you can create your own statements or adapt these to fit the group you are working with. Be sure to include at least three or four statements that reference trans or GLB experiences or identities.)
  5. After you have read all the statements, you can ask participants if they want to share any reflections on what they noticed. Were there questions that surprised them? Questions that weren’t asked that they would have wanted you to ask? People that they noticed weren’t in the room?

Please cross the circle if you:

  • Attended a Jewish summer camp
  • Worked at a Jewish summer camp
  • Keep a Kosher home
  • Regularly light candles for Shabbat
  • Are presently a member of a synagogue or independent minyan
  • Have ever been to an LGBT pride event
  • Know a same-sex couple that’s been legally married
  • Live in a state or municipality where it is illegal to fire someone on the basis of gender expression, i.e. for being trans
  • Have been to a Jewish wedding
  • Have been to an LGBTQ wedding
  • Have been to a Jewish LGBTQ wedding
  • Have been mistaken for a gender that is different from how you identify
  • Know someone who identifies as a person of transgender experience
  • Attended a Jewish Day School
  • Had a bar, bat mitzvah, or b’nai mitzvah
  • Have ever been teased for being “different” in some way
  • Have ever been mistaken for a member of a religious group that is different from how you identify
  • Know someone who has a parent or parents who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer.