Maxwell Zachs
Maxwell Zachs wants the opportunity to speak openly about the transgender experience and will document his journey on a new TV show.

A 25-year-old peace worker who wants to become Britain's first transgender rabbi is set to feature in a new television documentary show on Channel 4.

Born female, Maxwell Zachs began his physical transformation to becoming male three years ago. Of the three men in the group in the documentary, My Transsexual Summer, Maxwell has been transitioning the longest and has been taking male hormone testosterone since April 2009.

In January 2010, Max travelled to Bangkok, Thailand, to undergo a double mastectomy and male chest contouring. "I love being a man. I mean, what's not to like?" he said.

He is also a Reform Jew, living a religious and observant life, and one day hopes to fulfil his dream of becoming a Rabbi.

Maxwell has few problems 'passing' as male in everyday life, and has taken the decision to publically acknowledge his transgender status seriously.

For Maxwell, the opportunity to speak openly and publically about the trans experience in Britain today was too important to miss. He is adamant that hostility against trans people is one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice in the UK, and wants to do everything in his power to change society's negative perceptions of trans people.

"Based on 2009 statistics, a trans person is murdered somewhere in the world every 72 hours. That's a reality to me and people like me. I experience a certain degree of fear most of the time," he said.

"When I told my family about my transition they were not very comfortable with it. In the end they decided they would rather have an unhappy daughter than a happy son. That was not a comfortable position for me, and so we parted ways," Maxwell said in an interview with The Jewish Chronicle.

But Maxwell has re-established contact with his grandmother in recent months and she appears in an episode on the television series.

Maxwell is the national secretary of the Keshet UK group, which works with Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In the article for The Jewish Chronicle Maxwell said when he was dealing with his gender in his early 20s he also decided that he wanted more of a Jewish life. "Judaism has been so important for me because I felt connected, when not a lot else made me feel connected. When I first started my transition I did not know whether I would find a community that would welcome me."

"For me it's not really about becoming Britain's first trans rabbi, it's just about doing what I want to do with my life."

My Transsexual Summer begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday, November 8.