Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sexual Identity - Transgender Professor at YU

Recipients and Publicity forwarded from New York Post:

Yeshiva University torn by transgender challenge.
A Yeshiva University professor left two years ago as a man - and returned last week as a woman.

Literature Professor Joy Ladin, formerly known as Jay Ladin, 47, showed up for her first day of school sporting pink lipstick, a tight purple shirt and a flirty black skirt. She cheerfully strutted through the doors of the Midtown campus' main building, where she oversees the writing center.

Many at the Jewish university are horrified by the presence of the transgender professor. Some fear the news could cut alumni donations.

Ladin and the school won't comment on the situation, but some rabbis are shocked that she's still a member of the faculty.

"He's not a woman. He's a male with enlarged breasts," said Rabbi Moshe Tendler, a senior dean at Yeshiva's rabbinical school and a professor of biology and medical ethics. "He's a person who represents a kind of amorality which runs counter to everything Yeshiva University stands for. There is just no leeway in Jewish law for a transsexual.

"There is no niche where he can hide out as a female without being in massive violation of Torah law, Torah ethics and Torah morality."

Even if not in spirit, Ladin remains part male.

Although she's taking progesterone and estrogen to grow breasts and feminize her appearance, she retains the most prominent part of her manhood, according to the prologue of her unfinished memoir, "Inside Out: Confessions of a Woman Caught in the Act of Becoming." [...]

Ladin's wife filed for divorce and custody of their three kids and moved out of their Amherst, Mass., house, according to friends.

Although some rabbis are outraged by Ladin's return, many students are celebrating. [...]

Shayndi Raice Sigall, 26, of the Upper East Side, took Ladin's class in 2004 and said her return would offer students a unique learning experience.

"There are transgender people all over the world, and this is a wonderful opportunity for the school to show students firsthand how you can respect and learn from someone who might be different from you," Sigall said.

The transgender community is also thrilled with the surprising decision. [...]


  1. Yu, being a Yeshivah are required to take a halachaic position. R. Tendler is to be applauded. Who cares what students want? They come to learn not teach. Otherwise, why is it a yeshivah. all the Roshe Yeshivah have to speak out.

    We have should have compassion for such a person but we cannot condone it; YU is a yeshivah. I am sure that the Professor is not a happy person.

  2. Maybe it could get a cross appointment at YCT?

  3. Forget about maybes. People should stick to facts.

  4. There's more to this than meets the eye, and if the administration flouts the law, it could be very expensive. See http://transworkplace.blogspot.com


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