Thursday, November 21, 2019 | 7 PM
CSI Annex, 720 Bathurst St | $10–$20 | SOLD OUT
Limited number of rush tickets may be available at the door
The Koffler is thrilled to present the Toronto launch of Abby Stein’s Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman. Abby will be joined in conversation by Rev. Jeff Rock, Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Toronto’s LGBTQ2+ Church.
Trans activist Abby Stein was raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, isolated in a culture that lives according to the laws and practices of eighteenth-century Eastern Europe. As the first son in a dynastic rabbinical family, Abby was poised to become a leader of the next generation of Hasidic Jews. However, from a young age, Abby felt certain that she was a girl. In her groundbreaking memoir Becoming Eve: My Journey From Ultra- Orthodox Rabbi To Transgender Woman, Abby traces her extraordinary coming-out story, from suppressing her desire for a new body, to looking for answers in forbidden religious texts, to orchestrating her final exodus from ultra-Orthodox manhood to mainstream femininity – a radical choice that forced her to leave home, her family and way of life. Powerful in the truths it reveals about biology, culture, faith, and identity, Becoming Eve poses the enduring question: How far will you go to become the person you were meant to be?
Abby Stein is the tenth-generation descendant of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Hasidic movement. In 2015, Stein came out as a woman, and she now works as a trans activist. In 2019, she served on the steering committee for the Women’s March in Washington, DC, and she was named by the Jewish Week as one of the “36 Under 36” Jews who are affecting change in the world. She lives in New York City.
Rev. Jeff Rock was born and raised in Northern Ontario, educated in Quebec, and found his first job as a Minister in Alberta. Now serving as Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Jeff has a unique view on what it means to be Canadian. With degrees in Microbiology and Immunology, experience as a Hospital Chaplain, and Church clergy he is passionate about the intersections of science and religion, the sacred and the secular, queer people and other experiences of oppression and building solidarity across the lines of difference. Jeff was a candidate during the 2015 Federal Election and maintains a passion for justice work through grassroots activism and though the power of community. When not acting as an advocate or queer religious leader you can find him out and about with his Greyhound-Dalmatian dog named Chaz.
Koffler Centre of the Arts’ Books & Ideas series spotlights provocative writers, artists and thinkers, celebrating literary excellence and fostering critical dialogue through compelling book launches, author talks and on-stage interviews.
With a thematic focus on counter-narratives, the fall series features books that employ memoir, poetry, and the graphic novel form as tools of resistance.
Books & Ideas Fall season presented in partnership with:
With generous support from Dorothy Shoichet & Family, the Estate of Joseph Koenig, the Koffler Family Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council and CIBC Wood Gundy.
Books & Ideas Media Partner:
Flowers at the event generously provided by: