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 S&M Bet Midrash to foster growth for us all. To find out […]
“I don’t think the students who come to SVARA are coming primarily to learn Talmud–they’re not sitting at home, wishing they could learn Talmud–they are wishing that they could fall in love with the Jewish Tradition. And SVARA offers them that: They find a tradition that is smart, bold, courageous. They come because this is the place where they love doing their Jewish.” [...]
Rabbi Lappe CRASHes Tedx. On January 28th, Rabbi Lappe presented at TEDx in Manhattan. Have a look and share it far and wide! Rabbi Benay Lappe, Founder and Rosh Yeshiva of SVARA, is an award-winning educator specializing in the radical methods of social, moral, and legal change recorded in the Talmud, and is an innovator in the intersection of Talmud scholarship and Queer theory. [...]
In January 2013, SVARA and Mishkan teamed up to create the most happening Jewish learning experience in Chicago–the SVARA and Mishkan (S&M) Bet Midrash. Now kicking off our second year of collaboration, the popular Tuesday-night Bet Midrash is open to absolute beginners and experienced learners. Students are strongly encouraged to bring their real-life experiences to bear [...]