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About this Video

“What makes a woman?” That was the title of Elinor Burkett’s NY Times editorial questioning whether male-to-female transsexuals like me should be considered women — and it’s the question I explore in this intimate talk. Joy Ladin’s return to Yeshiva University as a woman after receiving tenure as a man made her the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution and made page-3 news in the New York Post. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a 2012 National Jewish Book Award, and winner of a Forward Fives award. She has given over 120 talks about transgender identity, and holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


About the Speaker

Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin’s return to Yeshiva University as a woman after receiving tenure as a man made her the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution and made page-3 news in the New York Post. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a 2012 National Jewish Book Award, and winner of a Forward Fives award. Her book on reading the Bible from a transgender perspective, The Soul of the Stranger, will be published in fall 2018. She has given over 120 talks about transgender identity, and holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at www.wordpress.joyladin.com.