Yeshiva Calendar ’21-’22

CALENDAR OVERVIEW

FALL

October – December 2021

October 17th
Sun
New SVARA-nik Orientation (7:00-9:00 PM ET)
October 18th
Mon
Fall Zman Begins
November 3rd
Wed
Pedagogy Chaburah Begins (Weekly)
November 25-26th
Thurs-Fri
Yeshiva Closed
December 9th
Thu
End of Fall Zman
December 24th
Fri
Yeshiva Closed through Jan 3rd 

Fall Offerings & Course Descriptions

SPRING

February – April 2022

February 13th
Sun
New SVARA-nik Orientation (7:00-9:00 PM ET)
February 14th
Mon
Spring Zman Begins
April 7th
Thu
End of Spring Zman
April 15th
Fri
Yeshiva Closed through April 25th

LEARNING BY MONTH

There are many opportunities throughout the year to get some Talmud served up the old fashioned way—hardcore, queer, and radically inclusive—with SVARA! Below you’ll find information about daily/weekly drop-in learning, as well as our lineup of upcoming multi-week classes. 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!

All of the learning spaces below follow SVARA’s accessibility protocols, and aspire to our community norms.

September

MISHNAH COLLECTIVE: DAYS OF AWE-SOME EDITION WITH SYNAGOGUES RISING

September 12th-14th and September 23rd-26th | 1:30 PM ET | 12:30 PM CT | 10:30 AM PT for 30 minutes |  JOIN HERE!

In Mishnah Collective: Days of AWE-some Edition, we’ll explore a section of the Mishnah (Torah 2.0!) that addresses questions of teshuva (restoration)—where it comes from and how it works. We’re partnering with Synagogues Rising this season to bring y’all a group of rad new guest teachers alongside Mishnah Collective regulars. This is a drop-in space, and all are welcome; join us once, every day, or anything in between! If you’re curious about learning at SVARA, this is a great place to start! Access note: SVARA’s Daily Drop-in Mishnah Collective is live-captioned. No prior Hebrew experience or learning necessary to participate! 

 

October-December

Our Fall Zman (season) of multi-week classes will take place from October-December. Click here for our full lineup of multi-week offerings this fall to support you on your journey to becoming a player.

MISHNAH COLLECTIVE

Daily (except Saturday) at 1:30 PM ET | 12:30 PM CT | 10:30 AM PT for 30 minutes | JOIN HERE!

We meet daily to ground in this uncertain time in our practice of learning & studying in community, digging into a chunk of mishnah (y’all remember, Torah 2.0!) from Masechet Avot (also known as Pirkei Avot) each day with SVARA Faculty & your Queer Talmud comrades. This is a drop-in space, and all are welcome; join us once, every day, or anything in between! If you’re curious about learning at SVARA, this is a great place to start! We can’t wait to learn with you! Access note: SVARA’s Daily Drop-in Mishnah Collective is live-captioned. No prior Hebrew experience or learning necessary to participate! 

 

THE ORAL TALMUD [online, live-streamed]

oral talmudWeekly on Thursdays at 12:00 PM ET | 11:00 AM CT | 9:00 AM PT | WATCH HERE

Each week in The Oral Talmud, Benay Lappe & Dan Libenson offer an introduction to Talmud through a traditionally radical lens. In each session, Benay & Dan explore key stories and other material from the Talmud that was left there by the early Rabbis as a how-to manual for re-imagining Judaism after the previous version “crashes.” Alternating weeks feature conversations with scholars and thinkers on Talmud to understand the Talmud more deeply from the perspective of contemporary academic study and creative re-interpretation. There’s no registration required! Join each week, drop in whenever you can, or watch recordings of previous sessions here.

TASTE OF SVARA: A DAY OF TRADITIONALLY RADICAL LEARNING

Sunday, October 10th | LEARN MORE AND ENROLL
Crash Talk: 12:00-2:00 PM ET | 11:00-1:00 PM CT | 9:00-11:00 AM PT
Bet Midrash: 3:00-6:00 PM ET | 2:00-5:00 PM CT | 12:00-3:00 PM PT

How can studying ancient Jewish texts help us create a liberated world? In the CRASH talk, we will explore the radical and queer history of the Talmud, Judaism’s foundational text, and discuss how it can help us understand and navigate moments of disruptive change in society and our own lives.

After a break, we’ll dive right into the text and put the theory into practice. Whether you’ve never learned Talmud before or you’re an advanced learner, SVARA’s bet midrash (learning community) is for you! 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!

OPEN BET MIDRASH

Thursdays, October 28th, November 4th, 11th, 25th, December 2nd, 9th

Open Bet Midrash is a bi-weekly opportunity to learn, schmooze, and skill-build with your Queer Talmud comrades. In each session, we’ll offer a skill-building workshop in the “Main Room” (see a schedule below for what we’re cookin’ up!), alongside parallel opportunities in breakout rooms to connect one-on-one with a fairy, find other SVARA-niks who want to explore a text with you, and to have an informal conversation about whatever is on your mind (on or off the daf!). 

You might come to Open Bet Midrash to: participate in a workshop, learn a supplemental text, figure out something you missed in shiur, work on your chazara with your chevruta or a fairy, connect with others about what’s coming up for you personally, or just come by and say ‘hi!’—this time is open and available for you! Whether you come regularly or drop in once, it’s not SVARA if your ‘svara’ isn’t there!

Stay tuned for a list of workshops!

 

FALL TALMUD & ALEF-BET COURSES

Fall Zman runs from October 17th–December 9th. Below is what we’re cooking up for this season. | LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

ALEF-BET BASICS

Mondays, 8:00-9:30 PM ET | 7:00-8:30 PM CT | 5:00-6:30 PM PT | October 25th-November 15th | LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

Taught by Ren Finkel

Alef-Bet Basics is 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.)

QUEER TALMUD FOR BEGINNER’S MIND

Section 1: Pikuach Nefesh | Mondays, 6:00-8:00 PM ET | 5:00-7:00 PM CT | 3:00-5:00 PM PT
Taught by Julie Batz with Fairies Rabbi Hayley Goldstein + noa g.e.

Section 2: Pikuach Nefesh | Tuesdays, 8:00-10:00 PM ET | 7:00-9:00 PM CT | 5:00-7:00 PM PT
Taught by Julie Batz with Fairies Binya Koatz + noa g.e.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

Join SVARA for some Queer Talmud goodness specifically designed for folks who are new(er) to SVARA’s approach to Talmud study and want to learn in a queer-normative space!  The learning is rigorous, *and* the bet midrash environment is warm and supportive. Students are strongly encouraged to bring their real-life experiences to bear on the text and to share openly in a space that models queer culture and radical inclusion. In both sections, we’ll study a section of the Talmud in the *original language* (with no translations!) with a 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. Each weekly session will combine chevruta learning (learning in pairs) and collective unpacking of the text in shiur.

All you need in order to participate is the ability to sound out your alef-bet, and you’ll be reading from the daf (directly from the page of Talmud) in no time! If you’re still working on your alef-bet, check out these resources to support your learning. If you’ve never learned with SVARA before and are new to traditionally radical Talmud study, this learning experience is for you!

MIXED-LEVEL BET MIDRASH

Section 1: Lev Yodea Marat Nafsho | Mondays, 8:00-10:00 PM ET | 7:00-9:00 PM CT | 5:00-7:00 PM PT 
Taught by Rabbi Becky Silverstein with Fairies Rabbi Jess Belasco + Noah Rubin-Blose

Section 2: Ona’at Devarim | Tuesdays, 8:00-10:00 PM ET | 7:00-9:00 PM CT | 5:00-7:00 PM PT
Taught by Rabbi Bronwen Mullin with Fairies Annie Kaufman + Sarit Cantor

Section 3: Lev Yodea Marat Nafsho | Wednesdays, 4:00-6:00 PM ET | 3:00-5:00 PM CT | 1:00-3:00 PM PT
Taught by Rabbi Bronwen Mullin + Elaina Marshalek with Fairies Amir Weg + Eliana Mastrangelo

LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

In the Mixed-Level Bet Midrash, you’ll learn core texts from SVARA’s library that show how the Rabbis upgrade the tradition they’ve been given—so that we can do the same—and explore the tensions that arise when they, and we, pursue radical change. This learning space is for anyone—from beginners to advanced Talmudists—and will provide learners with the scaffolding and tools to be challenged at their own learning level in a rigorous and supportive environment. Each weekly session will combine chevruta learning (learning in pairs) and collective unpacking of the text in shiur as a large group.

SHIUR FOR EXPERIENCED SVARA-NIKS

Kol Mi She’efshar | Wednesdays, 8:00-9:30 PM ET | 7:00-8:30 PM CT | 5:00-6:30 PM PT | LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

Taught by Elaina Marshalek, with Fairies Chloe Piazza + Rabbi Lauren Tuchman

Experienced & advanced learning at SVARA is not about covering more—it’s about going deeper. Get ready to go deep, and take your learning to the next level with a weekly shiur that will focus on rigorous attention to details and radical attunement to letters and historical layers. You’ll be expected to prepare in chevruta for 1.5-2 hours in advance of our weekly shiur. This shiur is for serious, dedicated learners who have experience learning with SVARA, are very comfortable with SVARA’s method & approach to Talmud study, and are ready to maintain or significantly deepen their practice of learning with a chevruta. We strongly encourage you to sign up with a chevruta, and can provide chevruta matching as needed.

 A TOOLKIT FOR REFINING OUR GUTS: DEVELOPING OUR ‘SVARA’ OFF-THE-PAGE with Scholar-in-Residence Devin Samuels

Mondays, 5:00-7:00 PM ET | 4:00-6:00 PM CT | 2:00-4:00 PM PT | Oct. 25-Dec. 6 | LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

taught by Devin Samuels, SVARA’s Fall 2021 Scholar-in-Residence 

How can we cultivate a regular practice of refining our “svara”? In this dialogue-driven learning space, we’ll encounter a set of multi-disciplinary tools and teachings that help us develop the places in our bodies and brains where our ‘svara’ lives as we integrate them into a lived, daily practice. Using multiple modalities including poetry, personal reflection, writing, dialogue, and creative process, our learning aims to culminate in a more developed and more acute embodied svara. This class is not about “owning” text, but will focus on heart-opening vulnerability, challenging, and questioning. We’ll do rigorous self-excavation; bring your open, resilient, embodied, and present self, and show up ready to interact fully in dialogue with each other! Note: This class is designed for SVARA-niks who have attended an online semester shiur, Queer Talmud Camp, or multiple sessions of SVARA’s Mishnah Collective

HEAVENLY TORAH: RADICAL RABINIC THEOLOGIES

Mondays, 6:30-7:30 PM ET | 5:30-6:30 PM CT | 2:30-3:30 PM PT | November 1st-December 6th | LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE

taught by Laynie Soloman

Get grounded in the ideas, debates, and ideological frameworks at the heart of the rabbinic project! This course will be a broad overview of core themes in rabbinic theology through close readings of selections from R’ Abraham Joshua Heschel’s prolific work Heavenly Torah: As Refracted Through the Generations (Torah min HaShamayim BeAspaklariya shel HaDorot, 1962) and accompanying rabbinic texts. As we witness the rabbis shape, create, and articulate their beliefs and ideas in relation to their past, we’ll attempt to explore our own theological questions as they relate to and take root in the paradigms set forth by queer rabbinic ancestors. Note: This class is designed for SVARA-niks who have attended an online semester shiur, Queer Talmud Camp, or multiple sessions of SVARA’s Mishnah Collective.