Spring Learning with SVARA in Philadelphia!

SVARA Fling in Philly

Sunday, May 5 | 12:30-4:30 PM
William Way LGBT Community Center (1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia)


Kick off our spring learning in Philadelphia! For brand-new aspiring queer Talmudists and seasoned SVARA-niks alike. Get a taste of Talmud SVARA-style (served up the old fashioned way: hardcore, queer, and radically inclusive) or get to know a new sugya about the power of radical change in Jewish tradition. All you need is the ability to sound out the alef-bet (really!), and you’ll be learning Talmud in the original in no time…we guarantee it! Come with your own chevruta (study partner) or we’ll hook you up.

12:30-1:30 PM – CRASH Talk
1:30-4:30 PM – Bet Midrash (Traditionally Radical Talmud Study)

Registration for this program is offered on a sliding scale between $18 and $72. If this amount is beyond your means, please contact James for info about reduced rates.


**Accessibility information: The building is accessible through a wheelchair lift to the side of the front door. (The main entrance has four steps.) There is an elevator to the Ballroom on the second floor where the Bet Midrash will take place.


Glitter & Gemara: SVARA @ Kol Tzedek

Tuesdays, May 7, 14, 21, 28 | 6:30-9:00 PM


Learn with SVARA Faculty at the SVARA @ Kol Tzedek Bet Midrash in Philadelphia!

SVARA and Kol Tzedek have partnered to create a rigorous, loving and supportive encounter with Talmud. Our learning will focus on skill-building (learning how to learn), the radical nature of the Jewish tradition, and the cultivation of Talmud study as a spiritual practice. We try to create a space in which folks historically excluded from the tradition can engage in intimate and intense conversation with it—and each other—through serious text study and dialogue.

This four-week bet midrash is open to folks who are brand-new to Talmud study, as well as those with years of Talmud experience.

All texts are taught in the original Hebrew/Aramaic. An ability to decode the Hebrew alphabet (sound out the letters) is the only requirement!

What are we learning?!

The period of time between Passover and Shavuot, known as the Counting of the  Omer, is a time of intentional preparation to receive Torah. In that spirit, we will be studying a Talmudic passage that focuses on the moment of revelation at Sinai.

According to the Talmud, our ancient sages weren’t too thrilled about the so-called covenant made at Sinai between G!d and the Jewish people. In fact, they sought to destabilize and re-imagine the covenantal moment completely. What made them so distraught about this peak theological experience around which we build the holiday of Shavuot? We’ll decode a rabbinic story that explores these questions, models a subversive theology, and invites us to interrogate our assumptions about revelation through the lens of consent, empowerment, and dissent. What do the ancient rabbis teach us about what it could look like to have an authentic and liberatory relationship with G!d?