Yiscah Smith, an Israeli scholar who made the transition from man to woman and then returned to observant Judaism, will speak this week at three Sonoma County congregations.
Smith’s talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Congregation Ner Shalom in Cotati is entitled, “Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living.” She’ll address the struggles and joys of the evolution of her spirituality and gender identity.
Thursday at 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth Ami in Santa Rosa, Smith will address “Jewish Living as the Cultivation of a Spiritual Practice.”
And Friday at 1:30 p.m. she’ll speak at the B’nai Israel Jewish Center in Petaluma. Her address there: “Go to Yourself: Moving from One Self to Another Self.”
Prior to her gender transition, Smith was a Chasidic man who lived in Jerusalem with his wife and children. She remains in Jerusalem and teaches on the faculty of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and the Conservative Seminary.