SVARA-nik Gallery

A critical part of Talmud study is what we call “commentary”: ongoing, centuries-old dialogues that deepen our understanding of the text. We’re excited to launch a digital gallery to celebrate your commentary, no matter what form it takes.

The SVARA-nik Gallery is a place to share and discover artistic expressions of queer Talmud.

Whether you create pottery, noise-music, poetry, leather, experimental art, or something in between, your work is welcome.

We’ll share a call for submissions x times a year. If you identify as an artist, we hope you’ll consider this call for submissions as a loving invitation to share your work.

You can use this form to express your interest in showcasing your art in the SVARA-nik Gallery. Feel free to check out the FAQ below.

A learner is standing in a bright yellow room making a tie-dye shirt. They are wearing a blue shirt and bright blue latex gloves to keep their hands clean. The tie-dye shirt is rainbow colored.
Two SVARA-niks are performing. One has a guitar and one is holding a microphone as they sing. They are both smiling.

frequently asked questions

A SVARA-nik is seated in a room filled with chairs, and they are holding a trumpet in their lap. A person playing the guitar is seated next to them. They are smiling towards someone out of frame.

gallery

A SVARA-nik, face out of the frame, learns from a page of Talmud. They are leaning on a table, which has a laptop open to a Zoom screen full of faces.

Ask, And They Will Tell You: Reflections on the Teshuva-Writing Collective

Laynie stands at the front of the room in the bet midrash with their hand raised in the air. SVARA-niks are scattered throughout the room standing and seated in celebration.

On the Table in Front of Us

Maggie is standing in front of their green pickup truck. They are wearing a yellow hat and a green winter coat. Their dog can be seen sitting in front of the steering wheel. It is a bright blue winter's day in Chicago.

What Carries Us Through a Crash

A learner is seated in the bet midrash, pointing to a section of a page of Talmud. They have a pencil in one hand, and the table beneath them has a lot of learning resources scattered about.

Questions, Practice, and Moving Toward Life

Two learners stand outside at Queer Talmud Camp. They are facing one another, and they are surrounded by other learners who appear to be gathered in a circle around them.

Healing, Heroes, and Holding Hands

An astrophoto of the Lovejoy Comet, which was captured by Kendra Watkins' grandfather, William Nigg. The photo captures a vast darkness speckled with countless small stars, and a turquoise comet streaks from right to left across the cosmos.

A Little More Darkness

A volume of Talmud sits open on a table. A learner can be seen sitting next to it. There is a rainbow alef-bet tool placed across the pages.

The Uncountable Queer Contradictions of Rabban Gamliel: A Roundtable Discussion

A SVARA-nik is seated in the bet midrash. They have short hair and a white, long-sleeved shirt on. They peer into an open masechet through a magnifying glass.

The Needy for a Pair of Sandals: Jacob’s Unsettling, and Our Own

A SVARA-nik sits on a chair with a bright yellow pillow and a blanket over their legs. They are leaning over an open Talmud in their lap, which they are annotating with a pen and pointing to. They are reading intently from the text.

Our Friend, Torah

Two people are in a bright, sun-lit room poring over a page of Talmud together. One person is standing and one is seated. They are both wearing glasses, and the table beneath them is covered with books, dictionaries, and reading lamps.

He Chopped Up the Damn Boat

Laynie stands in the bet midrash holding a volume of Talmud. They are wearing a yellow sweater and dark eyeglasses.

For Those of Y’all Joining Us for the First Time

A single yellow leaf floats just below the surface of a body of water. The water is deep blue, and there are faint ripples visible surrounding the leaf.

Reenvisioning Tashlich (With Some Help From the Temple)

On Visiting the White House

A group of SVARA-niks gather in the darkness around the dim light of a fire. One person's face is illuminated by a flashlight. They look to the right towards someone speaking. The shadows of the folks sitting are cast on the wall behind them.

The Very Jewish Holiness of Crying in Public

SVARA-niks are seated in the bet midrash together. Folks are sitting at tables full of texts and learning resources. The walls are blue and the image focuses on two chevrutas sitting across from one another. They are both smiling and looking towards someone outside of the frame.

Chevruta Outside the Bet Midrash

A group of SVARA-niks are seated outside, learning Talmud together. It is a sunny day and green trees surround the folks learning.

Holy Mirrors

A fairy stands beside a SVARA learner in the bet midrash. They are both looking at a page of Talmud together.

Drama in the Bet Hamikdash: The Little-Known Yom Kippur Weepfest

Three people stand in a circle to welcome in havdalah. They are smiling and singing together, and a havdalah candle burns towards the center of the image.

Blessed Motion

Two people embrace one another in a large open field. It is a sunny day and large green trees stretch out behind them. The face of one person is visible, and they are smiling as their arms wrap around the shoulders of the other person.

A Force for Deep Connection

Four people are gathered around a table in the bet midrash. Two of them are seated in chevruta and two are standing next to them. Everyone is focused on the text in front of them, and it appears that there is deliberation and deep attention being paid to the text.

When a Text Needs to Crash

Two chevrutas hold hands across the table in the bet midrash. The person on the left has brown hair and is wearing a mustard yellow sweater. The person on the right has blonde hair and is wearing a white long-sleeved shirt. They smile tenderly at each other.

A Strange Dance With Mourning

Two people share a glance in the bet midrash. The person on the left is seated, and the person on the right is standing and wearing fairy wings. The two seem to be in cheerful conversation together.

Honoring the Pain We Carry

A group of people sit around a table in the bet midrash. Folks appear to be clapping up a person in the middle of the frame, who smiles and glances down at the volume of Talmud in front of them. Everyone is smiling and glancing towards the person in the center.

The Fullness of Every Word

Ten people sit at a table in the bet midrash. Everyone appears to be in lively conversation, with some folks looking towards the text in front of them while others look at their chevruta across the table.

Each and Every Thread: Witnessing Masechet Berachot

Learners at Queer Talmud Camp can be seen in the distance walking across a large open meadow. The grass is a deep yellow and small hills rise out of a stand of trees in the background.

Svara in Spades

A group of SVARA-niks stand in a circle with havdalah candles burning. The person in the center of the frame reads a blessing as others look on.

Becoming Halakhically Ungovernable

Two SVARA-niks sit next to one another in the bet midrash. They are both smiling, clapping, and looking ahead towards someone out of frame.

A World of More Chevruta

Starting From the Same Beginner’s Mind

Jhos Singer sits in the bet midrash. There is a volume of Talmud in front of him and he glances towards someone standing outside of the frame. Jhos is wearing a checkered button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled to his elbows.

The Power of Our Minhag

Sacred Learning to Thaw the Freeze

A Love Letter to Mishnah Collective

Rescued by a Daf

Three SVARA-niks sit at a wooden table in the distance. The table is sitting on a field of grass, and it is shaded by a large, leafy-green tree.

Going From Inside to Outside

Three SVARA-niks are sitting under a large, leafy-green tree, far away from the camera. One, wearing fairy wings, is standing and talking, while the other two listen.

Torah on a Tightrope

Laynie leans over the shoulder of Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael, who is sitting at a table and learning with Rabbi Becky.

Go Out and See

Rabbi Lauren sits at a table in the bet midrash, a dictionary sitting in front of them. She is wearing a pink shirt and pink kippah, and she is smiling.

Finding My Possibility Model

Laynie stands at the back of the bet midrash, their finger on their lips in a thinking pose. Bronwen and Jhos sit at tables in front of Laynie, learning with their respective chevrutas.

How We Question

Laynie stands on one leg in front of a group of learners in the bet midrash. The SVARA-niks are sitting at tables, watching Laynie, and smiling at them.

Culture, Care, and Our Shared Definitions of SVARA

Two SVARA-niks sit on a bench outdoors. They are facing each other and discussing their learning over open Talmuds sitting in their laps.

Sacred Time Travel: Crip Time, Queer Time, and Torah Time

A group of SVARA-niks stand arm-in-arm in a singing circle. Many of them are looking at the ground. At the center, a person wearing pink holds a guitar and is singing with their eyes closed.

Reading Megillah As An Invitation to Take Action

Seven SVARA-niks sit around a table in the bet midrash, covered in open Talmuds and dictionaries. A few of them are clapping for one of their fellow learners.

In Wisdom, in Numbers: Changing the Outcome With Collective Power

Someone's hand, holding a pen, points to a line in the Talmud. The Talmud is lit up by a lamp, so that part of the page is illuminated and part of it is in shadow. The person's long, wavy brown hair is visible on the left of the photo.

Halakha Beyond the Binary

Finding Our Way

Rabbi Becky, wearing a brown sweater and a lighter brown kippah, leans over a Talmud, writing notes.

Halakha as Communal Practice: Launching the Teshuva-Writing Collective

A group of SVARA-niks sit around a table. Most of them are looking off to the left of the camera, but one of them is looking at the camera.

Finding Strength at the Edge of Understanding

A group of SVARA-niks stand in a circle, arms on one anothers shoulders. There is a small chandelier hanging over their heads, illuminating the room.

Unlocking the Language of the Universe

A group of SVARA-niks are learning around a table in the bet midrash. At the back, Laynie stands in front of a whiteboard covered in ideas.

Celebrating a Gemara-versary

Three SVARA-niks sit at a white table with their Talmuds and dictionaries out, facing the camera. Between them, two SVARA faculty, wearing fairy wings, lean over and point to a spot in their Talmuds.

The Lineage of Pushing Toward Bolder Reads

The Torah of Care

Two chevruta sit on a bench outside under an awning, the sun shining on their faces. They are smiling and high-fiving.

Retraining Our Guts

A group of SVARA-niks are sitting in a bet midrash, whose walls are lined with bookshelves. One SVARA-nik is standing and smiling proudly, while the rest of the group look on,.

Call Me By Your Baraita

Two SVARA-niks high-five over a table in the bet midrash.

Turn In It

The window of someone's home, taken outside and at night. The window is decorated with several chanukah messages - a light up dreidel, a lit up message saying happy chanukah, an outline of a menorah, and at the bottom, on the windowsill, a menorah, its candles burning.

The Talmudic Craft of Shaping Ourselves

In the foreground, a hand holds a beeswax, golden havdala candle, which is lit. In the background, which is blurred, four SVARA-niks stand around the candle.

Torah for Sleepless Nights

Two SVARA-niks lean over a table covered in silver bowls. They are picking things out of the bowls.

The Lost Talmud, Part Two

Two SVARA-niks high-five with both hands over a table covered in Talmuds and other books.

Hadran Alakh, Indeed!

A SVARA-nik sits at a table outside, leaning over their Talmud. They are holding a pen in their right hands to take notes with, and another book in the left hand.

Revealing and Transforming Torah

Benay, Laynie, and Monica huddle and lean over a table, studying Talmud together.

The Secrets of Friendship and Torah

Many SVARA-niks are sitting at tables in the bet midrash. All of them are clapping, except for one in the middle, who is smiling proudly.

Hardcore, Queer, & Radically Inclusive

Two SVARA-niks sitting at a table in an indoor bet midrash are high-fiving. Their hands are moving so fast that they are blurry.

A Sampler of Samplers, Part One

Crash-Cycling from Simchat Torah into 5782

Learning K’Neged Kulam

The Resilience of Crying Out

Two SVARA-niks sit at a table in an indoor bet midrash. One looks away into the distance; the other looks at their chevruta and is smiling.

The Heart Knows the Bitterness of Its Soul

Jhos is explaining something to a SVARA-nik, his fists bunched up in front of him. He is wearing a Queer Talmud Camp t-shirt with oars on it.

Trans Bodies and Talmud

A SVARA-nik stands with their back to the camera, showing off a glittery blue cape with Wonder Woman's logo on the back. Their arms are up in the air, and they are wearing glittery streamers on their wrists. Another SVARA-nik, off to the left, looks on, amazed.

Transformative World-Building Through Halakha

Two SVARA-niks sit in a bet midrash, in front of a full bookshelf made of a dark wood. They hold hands, raised in the air, above a table.

Allowing for Comfort in Cycles of Crash

A campfire burns at night in a stone firepit.

Holding Limitless Potential Amidst Crash

A group of SVARA-niks learn with chevruta across a table in an indoor bet midrash. On the left, the SVARA-nik closest to the camera is smiling contentedly.

Sharpening Our Wildest Dreams

Two lSVARA-niks sit at a wooden table outdoors in the distance. They are framed by green branches and bushes.

Breathing into the Rubble

A large group of SVARA-niks in the bet midrash watch as a learner high-fives a SVARA faculty member.

Between the Suns

A large group of SVARA-niks are standing in a wood-paneled bet midrash. Many of them have their hands up.

Toward a Co-Created Liberatory Jewish Future

Someone holds a metal paperweight in their left hand. Text on the paperweight reads, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

And Then They’ll Just Call It Judaism

On the left, there are two standing SVARA-niks, and on the right, two seated. Rabbi Monica, standing center, is handing a Talmud to one of the seated learners.

Blessing This Moment

The bet midrash is full of SVARA learners sitting at tables indoors.

A Letter to Our Students

A large group of SVARA-niks are sitting at tables in the bet midrash. They are all facing away from the camera, in the direction of their teacher, who stands at a lectern in the background. In the foreground, two SVARA-niks at the end of the table hold hands over the table.

The Rest of the Blessing

A group of SVARA-niks sit at a table in the bet midrash. In the center, two of them are holding hands across the table, looking at one another and smiling.

Nurturing Our Dedications Into Being

Jhos stands between two seated learners. Jhos is pointing at something in the learner's texts.

Finding Our Truths

A large gathering of SVARA-niks at Queer Talmud Camp. Folks are sitting and standing for a group photo. They have their arms raised over their hands in celebration.

A Third Torah from Sinai: Revising Our Myth for a New Jewish Era

A large group of SVARA-niks are sitting at tables in a bet midrash. In the center, one SVARA-nik, wearing a grey shirt, has their hands on their head and a smile on their face.

Making Sh*t Up: On Learning as a Radical Act

Four SVARA-niks sit at a table, in front of a large group of windows. They are all engrossed in their Talmuds.

Dedicating Our Learning to a New Malkhut

Two SVARA-niks are sitting on chairs outside, on a lawn, in front of a building. They are leaning over their Talmuds and learning together.

Our Learning Lives Inside Us

A group of SVARA-niks are standing in a room. In the foreground, Binya is holding a silver cup. Their face is turned towards the cup, though their eyes are closed. They are wearing a floral tank top and a white-and-purple shawl.

The Trans Halakha Project: Moving Us Toward the Next Unrecognizable Future

A group of SVARA-niks are sitting in the bet midrash, looking off to the left of the photo. Behind them, there is a rainbow painted on the wall of the bet midrash, with a blue-and-green background.

Finding Comfort in the Curmudgeonly

There are three large, thick tree trunks in the foreground, with more trees in the background. A SVARA-nik in the distance lies on a hammock between two of the trees, reading a book.

Becoming Forever Upside-Down

Members of SVARA faculty stand on a stage. They are waving their hands in the air and smiling or making other goofy faces.

Knowing and Not Knowing: Celebrating the Expansiveness of Torah

Two SVARA-niks sit at a table in the bet midrash. One, on the left, has their palms up.

Is the Talmud Really What We Say It Is?

The Word That Changed The World

Two standing SVARA-niks stand next to a SVARA-nik sitting at a table. One of the standing SVARA-niks is handing the sitting one a Talmud.

Elevating Wise People Elevates Wisdom

A SVARA-nik, standing and wearing fairy wings, hands a sitting SVARA-nik a Talmud. They are both smiling.

It’s Not What You Know, It’s How You Know It

A group of SVARA-niks, a few of whom are playing guitars, sit around a campfire at night.

Resetting the Ritual Clock

The Future in its Infancy

A SVARA-nik sits in the bet midrash. In front of them, on the table, is a Talmud and a water bottle with "queer talmud nerd" written on it. They are covering their eyes with both hands.

The Talmud’s Queerspawn: Going Inside-Outside on the Siddur

A group of SVARA-niks are sitting in the bet midrash, surrounded by wood-paneled walls and windows. Two SVARA-niks, in the foreground, are high-fiving, as many others look on.

Delighting in Our Learning

A black and white photo of a large circle of SVARA-niks, all standing outside, around a campfire that is not burning.

Saving Our Lives: The Rest of the Story

A group of SVARA-niks in the distance sit at a wooden table. Because they are so far away, it is hard to see them. They are sitting in front of a large tree which takes up most of the image, with green leaves and pink flowers.

Take Off Your Shoes

Two SVARA-niks - one sitting and one standing - hug each other.

Towards Halakhic Euphoria

A heart-shaped craft, sitting on the ground, with the Hebrew word lev (heart) in the center.

Knowing That We Are Loved

A black-and-white photo of a table in the bet midrash, with lots of SVARA-niks learning. In the front, Benay and Ari Lev Fornari are learning together and smiling.

The Radical Act of Becoming a Talmud Person

A group of SVARA-niks stand in a circle around a burning havdalah candle. In the foreground, a SVARA-nik is wearing fairy wings on their back.

Don’t Worry, (or Go Ahead and Worry but Still) Be Happy—a Talmudic prescription for turbulent times