About Rabbi Lappe

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.

See Rabbi Lappe’s TEDx Talk here.

Rabbi Lappe served on the Talmud faculty of the Milken Community Jewish High School in Los Angeles, where she was the founding faculty adviser to the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, the first to be established at a Jewish day school. During her tenure as Director of Education at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, in Manhattan, Rabbi Lappe founded CBST’s Lehrhaus Judaica, which has served over 10,000 students to date. Rabbi Lappe also cofounded the Queer Jewish Think Tank at Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim, in Los Angeles.

Rabbi Lappe also serves as Senior Fellow at the Insittute for the Next Jewish Future, Professor of Talmud at the Hebrew Seminary, in Skokie, Illinois, and is an educator for Keshet, a national organization working for the full inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life.

Rabbi Lappe’s writings have appeared in Shma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility, eCLAL: An Online Journal of Religion, Public Life and Culture, The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL’s Guide to Everyday and Holiday Rituals and Blessings, Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, Torah Queeries, among others.

While learning and teaching Talmud are her greatest passion, Rabbi Lappe is also a licensed pilot, shoemaker, and patent-holding inventor.

Click here to read some of Rabbi Lappe’s essays.