A few months back, Jewish Mosaic launched a new project, TransTexts: Exploring Gender in Jewish Sacred Texts, that Rabbi Elliot Rose Kukla and Rabbinical student Reuben Zellman have been working on for quite some time.

I’ve had the honor and privilege of studying with both of these phenomenal teachers. They’ve both been incredible, and humble, leaders in opening up spaces for queer, trans and gender-variant people to not just explore Jewish texts, but to confront the sharp and often contested places that have been used against us for so long. Along with the advisory board, many of the people involved with this project have definitely been inspirations in my own life, passion, and study–their leadership has already had an amazing impact in my own life, and ability to see my reflection in Jewish tradition, rather than thinking I have to turn away.

So I offer this to the many like me, who at times thought that the only option was to turn away.

The goal of this project in their words is:

to create a portal to Jewish traditions. It is not our intention to provide a complete or “authoritative” interpretation of these multi-faceted texts. Rather, we want to offer a variety of ways of looking at these remarkable texts — which have been, and still are, largely inaccessible to the general public. Some of the content of this site may be familiar to you; some of it might be very surprising. We invite you to read on and engage with all of it, in the great Jewish tradition of study and discussion.

They’re working on three different sections: queerly created; cross-dressing and drag; and created beings of our own. So far, queerly created is the only section that’s up and running, offering the opportunity to explore what many might find as surprising possibilities for the gender and sex of the first human being.

So, this is an invitation to take a step into the teaching from a lens that you may, or may never, have experienced before. I have no doubt it will, at minimum, spark an interesting conversation, and at most, over time offer such important, and broader ways, to engage Jewish texts.