Statement by Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service on Proposed Anti-Trans Policy


A reported proposed regulation from the Trump Administration would limit a person’s official gender identity to the one assigned to them at birth based on the appearance of their genitalia, which would undermine anti-discrimination policies protecting transgender Americans.

Statement of Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service

“As the leading Jewish global human rights organization that supports and works with 34 organizations in eight countries to advance the full human rights and dignity of trans people worldwide, we express our complete opposition to this heartless policy which would end the legal recognition of transgender Americans by the U.S. government. Moreover, we are gravely concerned that this policy will undermine U.S. government programs that support transgender communities worldwide and will signal to repressive governments around the globe that they are free to violate the human rights of trans people in their own countries.

“This repugnant proposal by the Trump Administration would use the power and prestige of the U.S. presidency and the executive branch to undercut access to health care, housing, education and fair treatment under the law for two million Americans. Moreover, this proposal constitutes an attack on the full human rights and dignity of trans people around the world.

“As a Jewish organization, we represent a global community which has suffered from state-sanctioned hate in many places and over many centuries, and we stand firmly with trans people everywhere, and we want them to know that they are not alone. We and many others, including trans people in our own community, will battle not only this rule but the very abhorrent message it sends to all people, especially trans people, and its disregard for human rights.

“We believe firmly in the core Jewish teaching that all people were created b’tselem Elohim – in the image of God – and thus deserve full respect and the ability to live in dignity. We also believe firmly that all people must fully benefit from their human rights, enshrined 70 years ago in the wake of the Holocaust in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are all entitled to human dignity and human rights, no matter our identity.”




About American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to pursue justice and fight poverty in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all. Learn more at


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