Learn with SVARA

There are many opportunities throughout the year to get some Talmud served up the old fashioned way—hardcore, queer, and radically inclusive—with SVARA! We offer daily and weekly drop-in learning spaces, multi-week classes, special one-off events, and resources for you and your chevruta to learn on your own. 

All of our learning spaces—whether they’re drop-in classes or semester-long courses— follow SVARA’s accessibility protocols, and aspire to our community norms.

Check out what’s comin’ up at your fave queer yeshiva, and we can’t wait to welcome to you to the SVARA bet midrash! Not sure where to start? Here’s how to get started on your Queer Talmud journey!

GET A TASTE OF TALMUD

  • Taste of SVARA: A Day of Traditionally Radical Learning with Rabbi Benay Lappe, a one-day class where you’ll get oriented to what SVARA is all about and putting the theory into practice. All you need is the ability to decode your alef-bet (i.e. sound out your Hebrew letters), and you’ll be learning Talmud in the original Hebrew/Aramaic within your first hour. We guarantee it! | Sunday, Jan. 23 | ENROLL NOW
    Crash Talk: 12:00-2:00 PM ET | 11:00-1:00 PM CT | 9:00-11:00 AM PT
    Bet Midrash: 3:00-5:00 PM ET | 2:00-4:00 PM CT | 12:00-2:00 PM PT 

DROP-IN LEARNING AND PROGRAMS

  • Mishnah Collective, a daily 30 minute exploration of Pirkei Avot, to get in on the action, or to restart your learning practice with us! | Sunday-Friday at 1:30 PM ET / 12:30 PM CT / 10:30 AM PT | SIGN UP HERE 
  • The Oral Talmud, a weekly livestream to podcast show where Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Benay Lappe and Dan Libenson of jewishLIVE dig into a text and, on alternating weeks, interview the premier Talmud scholars of our time to bring the revolutionary ideas about the Talmud coming out of academia into public conversation and then into the bet midrash. | Thursdays at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM CT / 9:00 AM PT |  WATCH HERE
  • Gemirna Workshops, drop-in sessions guiding you through an area of skill-building in Talmud learning that will help you know your shit on a new level. The Rabbis teach us that in order to be a player—someone who shapes the tradition—you need two things: 1) gemirna, deep learning, and 2) sevirna, moral intuition. These workshops are designed to help you get your gemirna as you become a player. Come for one or both these standalone sessions! | Thursdays, November 4th & 11th at 7:00-8:30 PM ET | 6:00-7:30 PM CT | 5:00-6:30 PM PT
    • November 4: The Jastrow Dictionary: A Comprehensive Tour with SVARA Fellow Binya Kóatz | REGISTER HERE
      The Jastrow Dictionary is our key to unlocking our Talmud texts, *and* it has a whole lot of information! Often the answers we need are somewhere in the entry, and the trick is knowing where and how to find them. In this workshop, you’ll get some tips and tricks for how to look up a word in Jastrow and decode all of the goodies that can help you get the most glittery definitions of your words.
    • November 11: Binyan Basics: Dressing Up Our Roots with SVARA Learning Coordinator Amir Weg | REGISTER HERE 

      Hifil, Pu’al, and Piel, oh my! What is a BINYAN and how can it help you as you’re digging into Talmud learning and beyond? As we know, Hebrew has this phenomenon of ROOTS—those delicious, usually three-letter kernels of meaning we encounter when we go word by word! We turn Hebrew roots into verbs by putting on one of seven outfits (patterns of prefixes, suffixes, infixes, and vowels) called BINYANIM, which transform the meaning of the root in characteristic ways.  Whether it’s your first encounter with binyanim or you’re coming back for some re-grounding, come learn how to play grammar dress-up and get to know how this grammatical system works!

  • Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience: A Night of Learning: Join our yeshiva community for an evening of learning and ritual in honor of the trans lives lost this past year. Workshops will be for and led by trans folks, alongside a parallel session for allies. This program is co-sponsored by SVARA, Keshet, and Shel Maala. All are welcome, no previous experience with Hebrew or text study is necessary. All sessions will be live-captioned. Please note that all SVARA programming is for folks 18 and up. | November 18th at 7:00-8:30 PM ET | 6:00-7:30 PM CT | 4:00-5:30 PM PT | REGISTER HERE
  • Rabbinical School Q&A Session: Curious about pursuing rabbinic ordination? Hear from fellow SVARA-niks who have become clergy about their experience in rabbinical school. Learn what ordination has helped them do in the world, their experience as queer folks, and what they wish they’d known when they started! *NOTE: This panel is for queer SVARA-niks interested in attending rabbinical school or another Jewish ordination program. | Sunday, December 5 | 6:30-8:00 PM ET | 5:30-7:00 PM CT | 3:30-5:00 PM PT | REGISTER HERE

MULTI-WEEK CLASSES

Below is a list of what we’re serving up in Spring 2022. Learn more here!

Alef-Bet

  • Alef-Bet Basics | Tuesdays, Feb. 15-Mar. 8 | 6:00-8:30 PM ET | | 5 sessions

Talmud 

  • Queer Talmud for Beginner’s Mind: Section 1 | Mondays, Feb. 14-Apr. 4 | 8:00-10:00 PM ET | 8 sessions
  • Queer Talmud for Beginner’s Mind: Section 2 | Tuesdays, Feb. 15-Apr. 5 | 6:00-8:00 PM ET | 8 sessions
  • Bet Midrash: Prozbul | Mondays, Feb. 14-Apr. 4 | 8:00-10:00 PM ET | 8 sessions
  • Bet Midrash: Letaher et HaSheretz | Tuesdays, Feb. 15-Mar. 8 |6:00-8:00 PM ET | 4 sessions
  • Bet Midrash: Chacham Adif MiNavi | Tuesdays, Mar.15-Apr. 5 | 6:00-8:00 PM ET | 4 sessions
  • Bet Midrash: Ben Sorer U’Moreh | Mondays and Wednesdays, Feb. 14-Apr. 6 | 11:30 AM-1:30 PM ET | 16 sessions
  • Shiur for Experienced SVARA-niks: HaKoreah B’Chamato | Mondays, Feb. 14-Apr. 4 | 8:00-9:30 PM ET | 8 sessions

Option 3 Jewish Life & Practice

  • Queer Theories of Halakha | Wednesdays, Feb. 16-Mar. 30 (skip Purim, Mar. 16) | 6:00-7:30 PM ET | 6 sessions
  • Cripping the Torah with new SVARA Faculty Rabbi Elliot Kukla | Thursdays, Feb. 17-March 31 (skip Purim, Mar. 17) | 4:00-5:30 PM ET | 6 sessions
  • Scholar-in-Residence Course, details coming soon!

LEARN ON YOUR OWN

Grab your chevruta and dig in with these resources to help bring the bet midrash to you, wherever and whenever you’re learning!