The Foundation for
Jewish Campus Life

Humans of Hillel

'Judaism is open to interpretation'

Worcester, Massachusetts | 2020

“When I first came out as trans, I was really scared that I wouldn’t be accepted by my Jewish community. There’s a passage in the Torah that says a woman should not dress up like a man, and a man should not dress up like a woman. That always concerned me because I’ve been dressing masculine for as long as I’ve been able to pick out my own clothes. But Judaism is open to interpretation. That’s the best part about Judaism. I interpret that passage to mean if you’re a man, be out and open as a man. And that’s how I live my life. Everyone has been so accepting at Clark University Hillel. I don’t feel like I have to leave part of my identity at the door. I’m so thankful to have a wonderful community who supports me and accepts me for who I am. And I am proud of who I am.” – Eli Cohen-Gordon, Clark University