Trans Inclusive Jewish summer-camps are pioneering a gender-neutral form of Hebrew

Seven Jewish summer camps across America are rolling out a more trans inclusive gender-neutral form of Hebrew. The new form of Hebrew will be rolled out across the Habonim Dror summer camps.

Trans Inclusive Summer Camp

All seven sites across North America will use the form, which includes words like “chanichol”, which is a gender neutral form of the Hebrew word “chanich” for boys or “chanichah” for girls, meaning camper.

Traditionally, there is no gender-neutral form of Hebrew and nouns are divided into genders, much like many other languages like Spanish, French and Russian. Hebrew is more of a challenge than most gendered languages because you cannot speak in the first or second person, without indicating a gender. For example, the English phrase “I want a drink” would be literally translated into Hebrew as “I female-want a female-drink”.

“It really reinforces the impact of summer camp as a safe space,” Sara Zebovitz, the North America director for Habonim Dror told the Washington Post.

“Camp has always made it okay to say, ‘I can be myself here.’”

The new form of Hebrew also includes cheers of each child’s age, typically heard in group settings.

Read more here: