Chicago Bet Midrash

Thursdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 & June 6 | 6:30-9:00 PM
Beit Yichud, 6932 North Glenwood Ave, Rogers Park
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SVARA’s Chicago Bet Midrash is a weekly learning community devoted to the rigorous study of Talmud and which recognizes as crucial the insights of those on the margins. Like all learning at SVARA, the Chicago Bet Midrash is open to absolute beginners and experienced learners alike. All you need to participate is the ability to sound out your alef-bet!!

We’ll create a rigorous and warm environment in which all learners will encounter and come to truly take ownership over the Talmudic text, without translation. Yeah, we’re serious! This round we’ll be learning a text from Tractate Gittin that presents a model for the radical change-making that we love so much about the rabbinic project!

Want to know more about what to expect from a SVARA bet midrash?! Click here!


1) Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature by Marcus Jastrow. Call up your local Jewish bookstore, and ask for “a Jastrow.”

2) A Practical Talmud Dictionary by Yitzhak Frank. Tell ’em you need “a Frank.”

Every student is required to have their own Jastrow and their own Frank.

On the application, we’ll give you a chance to order used books from us. If you would like to purchase your own dictionaries, new copies are available at Rosenblums in Skokie at similar prices and used copies can be found for less on Amazon. If you already have the dictionaries, plan to bring them to every session.

If you are unable, for financial reasons, to purchase the dictionaries at this time, don’t hesitate to send us a private email so that other arrangements can be made. If you have not made prior arrangements, you will be expected to purchase a set of dictionaries from SVARA when you arrive. 


• Beit Yichud’s entrance, learning space, and restroom are all on the ground floor with no steps to entry.

• All SVARA programs aspire to be fragrance-free & scent-free spaces. Due to the severe chemical sensitivities of several members of our community, including Rabbi Lappe, please be exceedingly careful not to wear any scented products to the bet midrash, including perfume, after-shave, hand lotion, lip balm, moisturizer, etc.


Registration for this bet midrash is offered on a sliding scale. Please choose the amount between $60 and $180 that is right for you. If the registration fee is a barrier to your learning please contact James to arrange a fee waiver.