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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Rabbi Lappe’s passion for the Talmud is contagious. Her thrill in helping her students “get it,” and in inspiring a respect and understanding of the radical nature of the Rabbis of the Talmud, are remarkable. Learn more about Rabbi Benay Lappe here.
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 Tuesday-night Bet Midrash and Traditionally Radical Matzah Making to foster growth for […]
SVARA is a traditionally radical yeshiva dedicated to the serious study of Talmud and committed to the Queer experience. SVARA is a place where people of diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds, of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities, ethnic heritage, racial experience, skin color, class background, and religious observance can gain the necessary text […]
As many of you know, SVARA has been a refuge for me. In many ways, I created it for myself. I wanted a yeshiva where the learning was as good as that of the best yeshivas in the world, but where I could bring every part of myself into the bet midrash. And because so […]
Rabbi Benay Lappe, Founder and Rosh Yeshiva of SVARA, holds a BA in Italian Literature from the University of Illinois, an MA in Teaching from the University of Illinois, an MA in Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism, and an MA in Rabbinic Literature and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Upon ordination […]