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Celebrating Pride by Helping Older Adults Navigate Gender Across Generations

Abby Stein, transgender activist, offers 21st century perspective on gender & family relationships

Abby Stein will be speaking at 2Life Communities

BOSTON – May 31, 2019 – 2Life Communities celebrates Pride Month with Abby Stein, a Jewish educator, activist, writer, and speaker who came out as a woman of transgender experience under unusual circumstances. Ms. Stein was assigned male at birth and raised in a Hasidic family, and is a tenth generation descendant of the Baal Shem Tov, the revered founder of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect. Before transitioning, she was ordained as a rabbi, and married a woman with whom she had a son. Stein will share her story and answer questions at 2Life’s Brighton campus on Monday, June 17, and at our Golda Meir House in Newton on Tuesday, June 18. Both events will begin at 6:30 pm.

2Life Communities is home to nearly 1,500 people age 62 or better, and while the organization embraces and celebrates diversity, many residents have had little exposure to people whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. But the number of transgender individuals in the United States has doubled in the last decade, to nearly 1.4 million, and according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, people ages 18-24 are far more likely to identify as transgender than older adults. Ms. Stein will offer a vocabulary and perspective that could help older generations relate to their grandchildren and great grandchildren, for whom gender identity may defy their families’ cultural expectations.

In preparation for Ms. Stein’s visit, 2Life is offering trainings on sexuality and gender identity at all four of our campuses. Attendees will learn vocabulary currently used to discuss gender, consider the difference between gender and sex, and have an opportunity to ask questions in a nonjudgmental environment. One of the trainings, as well as Ms. Stein’s Brighton presentation, will be translated into Russian and Mandarin for the many members of our communities who are native speakers of those languages.

Both of Stein’s presentations are free and open to the public. RSVPs should be directed to Cindy Katzeff at ckatzeff@2lifecommunities.org or 617-912-8490.

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About 2Life Communities

2Life Communities, a nonprofit organization founded in 1965, operates on the belief that all seniors should have the opportunity to live a full life of connection and purpose in a dynamic, supportive environment – a model we call aging in community, which directly combats the growing public health crisis of social isolation and loneliness amongst older adults.

At 2Life Communities, residents can step out the doors of their own apartments and find friendship, community, physical and intellectual stimulation, and a helping hand day or night. Serving a diverse population of 1,500 older adults, 2Life creates communities with a laser sharp focus on affordability – a tremendous concern given that Massachusetts is the state with the 2nd largest gap in the U.S. between seniors’ median income and the cost of living.

About Abby Stein

Abby Stein attended Vizhnitz Yeshiva, completing a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, she left the Hasidic world to explore different world views, and in 2015, she came out as a woman of trans experience. She's been working to raise support and awareness for transgender rights and those leaving ultra-Orthodoxy ever since. Her story has been covered internationally by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Forward, NBC News, Vogue, InStyle, CNN, Fox News, and Showtime, among others.

In 2016, Abby was named one of The Jewish Week's “36 Under 36” young Jews who are affecting change in the world. In 2018, she was awarded the Pride Award by the Brooklyn Borough President. A current Columbia University gender studies and political science student, her memoir, Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman, will be published by Seal Press (Hachette) on November 12, 2019.