In the Press

Punk Torah

We were totally jazzed when we heard what the folks over at had to say about Rabbi Lappe’s recent ELITalk!

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 3.09.28 PM


SVARA featured on “Sanctuary”

The S&M Bet Midrash was the star of the program “Sanctuary,” which was broadcast February 23, 2014 on ABC7-Channel 7. Check it out!

The Forward’s 2014 Most Inspiring Rabbis Rabbis-web-banner1-ver-b

“Rabbi Benay Lappe has provided 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 has modeled, taught and demonstrated that — particularly to those of us who have not been the receivers of a Judaism that speaks to us or about us — we all have the capacity to engage with our tradition and with ourselves in a way that will make the pages of the Talmud breathe, come alive and sustain both Judaism and us today….” Read more 




Jewrotica’s Sexiest Rabbis of 2013Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 3.46.47 PM

Rabbi Lappe made Jewrotica’s Sexiest Rabbis of 2013 List (as did Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann of Mishkan Chicago)!

See a follow-up article in The Times of Israel (12/31/2013) HERE.




“Traditionally Radical” Jewish Learning

108So you know that SVARA is a “Traditionally Radical” Yeshiva, but what does that really mean? Let SVARAnik Rachel Cort share her perspective with her piece in eJewish Philanthropy. Read more…




A Queer Gentile in the Beit Midrash

Jon Catlin’s reflections in Moment Magazine of his time learning with Rabbi Lappe in the Bet Midrash.

Moment_Logo“As I was shown into the interfaith spiritual center of the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel to my first Beit Midrash (house of learning), I had no idea what I was getting into. Initially drawn in by the title of “Various Positions: Sex, Superstition and Deviant Behavior in the Talmud,” I still had plenty of reasons to doubt whether this program was for me. Rattling around in my mind was the obvious question: What was I—an atheist, non-Jewish, gay man, with no knowledge of Hebrew or Aramaic—doing at a reading of sacred Jewish texts normally reserved exclusively for straight male observant Jews? If I had been born a woman I would have fit precisely the radical bill—totally inverting the intended audience of Talmudic texts.”

Read more…