The Covenant Foundation announced today that SVARA’s Founder and Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Benay Lappe, has been chosen to receive the prestigious 2016 Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. The Covenant Award is among the most prominent citations in the Jewish community, and is awarded to three educators every year after a rigorous selection process. It celebrates recipients for their […]

  • SVARA named one of the most exciting and innovative organizations in the country!

    SVARA is proud to have been selected for the second year in a row by Slingshot as among the most exciting and innovative organizations in the country. We are thrilled to be listed in the prestigious national Slingshot Guide this year, the go-to guide for donors, volunteers, and activists looking for new opportunities and projects that will ensure the Jewish […]

  • Traditionally Radical

    SVARA is a traditionally radical yeshiva dedicated to the serious study of Talmud and committed to the Queer experience. Our mission is to provide serious Talmud study as a spiritual practice to all who want to learn, in an environment that recognizes as crucial the insights of transgender, intersex, queer, lesbian, bisexual and gay Jews […]

  • Serious Learning

    At SVARA, no matter what your Hebrew level, you will be learning Talmud in the original, from the Vilna Shas. At SVARA, you will gain the skills to look at a page of Talmud – any page – and enter into the millennia-old conversation for yourself. Want to learn with SVARA? Contact us HERE. Susan […]

  • Queer

    SVARA is where we realized how traditional our radical queer selves really were, and how queer the tradition has always been. It’s where we realized that how we each understand our tradition and live out our Jewishness have an enormous impact on how we walk through the world. And ultimately, that’s why learning Talmud with […]

  • Empowering

    SVARA is the place where so many of us realize that we are not just going to be allowed to sit at the table of Jewish learning and decision-making, but that it is essential that we be there. SVARA is the place where we who once felt like outsiders, become insiders for the first time. SVARA […]

  • Passionate

    Rabbi Benay Lappe provides her students and the entire Jewish community with the opportunity to see that Judaism is smarter, more radical and sexier than we ever imagined. She models, teaches and demonstrates that — particularly to those of us who have not been the receivers of a Judaism that speaks to us or about […]

  • Community Building

    SVARA is devoted to building relationships among students and with other “Option 3” organizations. There are regular learning and social small groups to get to know each other and the Rabbi better. SVARA also partners with other organizations like Mishkan Chicago for the S&M Bet Midrash to foster growth for us all. To find out more […]