We are constantly striving to make learning at SVARA empowering and comfortable for everyone.

All of our learning spaces follow SVARA’s accessibility protocols and aspire to our community norms. If there are ways we can improve your experience in our bet midrash, please let us know!

Access Information for Online Shiurim

We learn for 1.5-2 hours at a time on Zoom. There is a break scheduled for all learners during 2-hour shiurim. At all times, you are welcome to sit, stand, lay down, stretch, get a snack, drink some water, and take breaks according to your own needs. Please do what you need to do to take care of your body and yourself!

Accessible Materials

We have large-print copies of materials available to send along with printed materials. If you would like enlarged printed materials, please indicate this on your registration form and we will send them to you. Many students also choose to use a magnifying glass to read small print texts—we recommend the Magnabrite Magnifier.

Recommended Dictionaries

There are two dictionaries that you will use when learning Talmud in the original at SVARA (or anywhere else!): a “Jastrow,” and a “Frank.” Below you will find descriptions of how to access these dictionaries.
A “Jastrow”—Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature, by Marcus Jastrow

You can access this dictionary in hard copy or online. Only you know what you need in order to learn best! Hard copies are available through online retailers, including Judaica Press. If you prefer the free online format, we recommend the following two options:

  • Option #1 is the Tyndale Archive Jastrow Dictionary. This is a complete scan of the printed dictionary with built-in font enlargement tools. Some benefits of using this option include that it feels more like the book – if your chevruta is using a printed dictionary, you will be looking at the exact same thing and can share page numbers, and you will reinforce learning the order of the alef bet.
  • Option #2 is the Jastrow Dictionary on Sefaria. With this option you can type the root or word you are looking for into a search box (via the onscreen Hebrew keyboard) and jump directly to an entry. Some benefits of using this option are that the digitized text is clearer than the Tyndale Archive’s scans and Sefaria is compatible with screen reader technology. Some challenges are that it is harder to get on the “same page” as your chevruta (there are no page numbers).

Financial Accessibility

All of our classes are “pay what you can,” and no one will ever be turned away for lack of funds. When registering, you can indicate the amount you would like to contribute for tuition, which can be below, on, or above the suggested scale.