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Abby Stein (born October 1, 1991 in Brooklyn, New York) is a transgender activist, blogger and American speaker, and the first woman in the Hasidic community to admit her transsexuality.
In 2015, Stein founded the first national support group for transgender people within Orthodox communities.
Early life and studies
She was born in 1991 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is the sixth of thirteen children, from a family known for her long line of notable leaders for the Hasidic community.
Stein studied in a male Hebrew school, and later, attended the Viznitz institution in Kiamesha Lake, New York, where he obtained his semikhah.
In 2012, Stein abandoned his religious community and renounced his religion. In 2014, Stein began her studies at the School of General Studies at Columbia University in New York City where she is recognized for her achievements as an activist within the transgender community.
Stein speaks Hebrew and Yiddish.
In November 2015, through his personal blog, Stein declared himself to be transgender and detailed his process of physical and emotional transition.As a result of the viralization of these writings, Stein was recognized by several media , where he became the protagonist of journalistic pieces both in the press and on television.
Stein told in these pieces how his parents reacted to the news of his resignation from religion and his gender change. Regarding his renunciation of religion, his parents told him, “No matter what happens or how you are, you are still our son”. However, after admitting her sexuality, her parents disavowed her and instilled rejection within her religious community. However, in an interview for Chasing News, Stein admitted to having charged ” with less hatred than people can expect. ”
In 2016, Stein appeared in the documentary series Dark Net, where he recounted his experience as a transgender.
On the morning of June 4, 2016, Stein organized a party to celebrate both his change of sex and name in the Romemu, a Jewish synagogue in favor of the modernization of his religion, located on the Upper West Side of New York. In an interview for The Huffington Post Stein said: “Even if I did not believe in God, I wanted to celebrate it in a synagogue.”
If you think that being transgender is unacceptable within traditional Judaism, well, here is a community that not only accepts me as I am, but also celebrates with me. I hope that by sharing my story, those who are in the same situation will know that they can change their name in a synagogue.
In 2015, Stein founded an online support group to help people who identify themselves as transgender within the Orthodox community. By November 2015, this support network had more than twenty members. Stein stated that Facebook and its online community were his greatest support during the period in which he left his religious community and approached his sexuality.
In 2010, Stein married Fraidy Howrowitz, with whom he had a son: Duvid. The engagement was facilitated by a shadchan, where both met a quarter of an hour before the nuptials. After deciding to renounce his faith, Stein divorced his wife. However, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Stein said that the divorce was resolved in “peaceful terms” and that since its rupture, They keep weekly visits and custody of their child.
More Facts about Abby Stein
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