Summer Zman 2021

Summer Zman runs from August 9th – 27th. Below is what we’re cooking up for this season. If you’re looking for drop-in learning, one-off sessions, or other ways to connect to your Queer Talmud comrades, see our upcoming offerings. Not sure which is the right offering? Check out this flow chart!

Click here for more information about accessibility at SVARA, and click here for more information about enrollment and tuition.

Alef-Bet Basics
8:00-9:30 PM ET
Mixed-Level Bet Midrash: Section 1
8:00-10:00 PM ET
Invention of Teshuva
(Yoma 85b)
Mixed-Level Bet Midrash: Section 2
6:00-8:00 PM ET
Imagining Reparations
(Gittin 55a)
Hardcore Talmud Intensive
11:30 AM-2:00 PM ET
An Eye for an Eye 
(Bava Kamma Chapter 8)
Conjugation for Liberation
7:00-8:30 PM ET

*No one will be turned away for lack of funds: during the registration process, you will be asked to identify the tuition amount that you would like to pay, which can be at, above, or below the suggested sliding scale.

Class Descriptions:

Alef-Bet Basics

Tuesdays, 8:00 PM-9:30 PM ET | 7:00-8:30 PM CT | 5:00-6:30 PM PT

taught by Ren Finkel

Alef-Bet Basics will be a three-week dive into the Hebrew alphabet! This class will get you prepped and ready to go for your future SVARA experiences, as we learn the Hebrew letters and vocalizations. As always, this space will be fun and queer-normative as we navigate the delights and frustrations of learning the building-blocks of a language. We’ll give you all the tools you need to boost this beautiful new skill during the class and beyond! (Please note that this isn’t a Hebrew grammar or vocabulary class, we’ll be sticking just to letters and vocalizations.) | FULL – check out our fall offerings!

Mixed-Level Bet Midrash

Gear up for the high holidays with rigorous, accessible Talmud learning as a deep spiritual practice in service of teshuva and transformation leading up to the Days of AWE-some. We’ll learn a complete text from the Talmud from start to finish, all in the original language (without the use of translation). 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. All are welcome in this mixed-level learning space. Whether you’re a Talmud newbie or an experienced SVARA-nik, we can’t wait to learn with you!

Section 1: Invention of Teshuva (Yoma 85b)

Mondays, 8:00-10:00 PM ET | 7:00-9:00 PM CT | 5:00-7:00 PM PT

taught by Bronwen Mullin

In this sugya (Talmud text), we’ll witness the Rabbis’ creation of teshuva (relational repair) out of a sacrificial system. As we track this journey, we’ll explore their understanding of what kind of person the Jewish tradition wants us to be, what kind of people we want to be, how our sages dealt with the slippery and messy reality of human relationships, and how the complexity of their world invites us to consider the complexity of our own world. | FULL – check out our fall offerings!

Section 2: Imagining Reparations (Gittin 55a)

Tuesdays, 6:00-8:00 PM ET | 5:00-7:00 PM CT | 3:00-5:00 PM PT

taught by Bronwen Mullin & Elaina Marshalek

We’ll explore the nature of repair–personally, communally, and systemically. The text we’ll learn highlights questions of systemic injustice, personal transformation, healing, and repair. While the limits of the application of this text to our own lives are endless, many have used this text as a source-text for conversations about reparations. | FULL – check out our fall offerings!

Conjugation for Liberation

Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 PM ET | 6:00-7:30 PM CT | 4:00-5:30 PM PT

taught by Amir Starr Weg

We’re so excited for another round of Conjugation for Liberation, SVARA’s three-week Talmudic grammar class! In this class you’ll liberate yourself from grammar’s obscurity, familiarize yourself with the Hebrew verb systems (binyanim), and learn to recognize and conjugate Hebrew verbs. This course is designed for folks who can sound out Hebrew with vowels, feel comfortable identifying roots and affixes (prefixes, suffixes, infixes), and are ready to delve deeper into the verb system to enhance their Talmud skills. | FULL – check out our fall offerings!

Hardcore Talmud Intensive

Mondays through Thursdays, August 9th-27th | 11:30 AM-2:00 PM ET | 10:30 AM-1:00 PM CT | 8:30 AM-11:00 PM PT

taught by Rabbi Benay Lappe & Laynie Soloman

SVARA’s Hardcore Talmud Intensive, a three-week daily bet midrash, will provide learners of all levels with the opportunity to explore new areas of depth in their learning on their journey to becoming players—people who learn and shape tradition. Through daily bet midrash sessions, in-depth workshops, opportunities to explore supplemental materials on and off the daf, and more, SVARA-niks of all levels will have the opportunity to: thicken your skills as an empowered Talmud learner, level up your experience with rabbinic texts and concepts to help you be an even better player, go deep into a new sugya (Talmud text) with a chevruta, teachers, and fairies, and build dazzling queer community with your SVARA comrades. | FULL – check out our fall offerings!