Bronwen Mullin (she/her) – Faculty
Bronwen is a SVARA Fellow and graducate of the SVARA Teaching Kollel. See serves as rabbi of Congregation Bnai Jacob of Jersey City where she gets to rabble-rouse in all the right places. She is a playwright, composer, and performance artist. Her Hebrew/Aramaic opera “Chalom” based on the 9th chapter of Masechet Berakhot, appeared in the 2012 International NYC Fringe Festival. Bronwen is currently developing her 2nd full-scale opera, “Bat Yiftach: A Tragic Punk Opera” thanks to a JTS Seeds of Innovation and Myers Family grant. Bronwen is also an inaugural fellow with the Rising Song Institute.
Laynie Soloman (they/them) – Faculty
Laynie is a passionate teacher of Jewish text, thought, and tradition, they believe deeply in the power of Talmud study as a healing and liberatory spiritual practice. They have spent several years learning and teaching in various batei midrash (homes for Jewish learning) including at Hadar, an egalitarian yeshiva in New York City, where they currently serve as an adjunct faculty member. Laynie is completing a Dual M.A. in Talmud/Rabbinic Literature & Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Goucher College. They love facilitating experiences of Jewish learning that uplift the piously irreverent, queer, and subversive spirit of rabbinic text and theology, and they have taught and lectured on these topics in various community spaces, campuses, and in academic settings. When not in shul or learning Talmud, you can find Laynie reading about liberation theology, collecting comic books, and singing niggunim.
James Evans (he/him) – Program Operations Manager
James has been a Chicago resident since the fall of 2012 and has been an active SVARA learner since 2016. He attended Florida State University, where he studied Political Science and French. As an Eagle Scout, his personal motto is “Always be prepared!” When not working on making sure you have the most AMAZING learning environment, he can often be found with his nose in a sci-fi/fantasy book or cooking a delicious meal with friends.
Amir Weg (he/him) – Fairy
Amir is a Fellow in the SVARA Teaching Kollel. He has been a student of Talmud and a SAVARA-nik since 2013. He joined the staff in 2017, and serves as SVARA’s Yeshiva Administrator. In addition to teaching Talmud, he runs workshops in Hebrew/Aramaic grammar at Queer Talmud Camp and other programs. Outside of the bet midrash, he spends his time listening to podcasts, watering his numerous house plants, and cooking Shabbat dinners.
Hayley Goldstein (she/her) – Fairy
Hayley is a SVARA Fellow and graduate of the SVARA Teaching Kollel. She is serves as Rabbi of Base Ithaca, which facilitates #shabbosmagic and Jewish learning in a home-based pluralistic environment for Cornell students. Hayley grew up outside of Minneapolis, MN, received a BA in Religious Studies from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and Rabbinic Ordination at Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Newton, MA. As a member of the first cohort of SVARA’s Teaching Kollel, Hayley is honored to have run several batei midrash in Israel and in Boston. Her favorite teaching moment is when two hevrutot high five one another in support of their learning. Hayley can be found learning/teaching Talmud, preparing chicken for shabbos, singing complex niggunim, or ushering in the Sabbath by cleaning the house to the music of Usher.