Jhos Singer sits in the bet midrash. There is a volume of Talmud in front of him and he glances towards someone standing outside of the frame. Jhos is wearing a checkered button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled to his elbows.

Jhos Singer

( he/him )
SVARA Fellow

Maggid Jhos Singer is a professional Jewish educator, writer, and speaker. He is an out transman, a parent of three, devoted spouse, craft cocktail mixologist, neophyte straight razor shaving nerd, and a skillful home chef. He relishes engaging in Jewish text study, hiking, and facilitating spiritual experiences for his flock, students, and friends. With his wife, the lovely Julie Batz (see cohort 2) he spent over two decades in service as a congregational leader. Some might call him a rabbi, but his official title is Maggid, having been ordained as such by Rabbi Gershon Winker in 2002. Currently, he serves the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco where he is the Rosh Yeshiva for QueerCore Talmud and Original Ink—SVARA-method batei midrash exploring Talmud and Torah. For good measure, he earned his MA in Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley some years ago. His work can be found in Torah Queeries, Balancing on the Mechitza, and at SVARA and ELItalks. 

Blog posts by Jhos Singer

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 8 Pt. 3

בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מֵחֲצוֹת וּבָרְגָלִים מֵאַשְׁמוּרָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה And on Yom Kippur [he removed the ashes] from midnight onward. And on the…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 8 Pt. 2

בִּקְרִיאַת הַגֶּבֶר אוֹ סָמוּךְ לוֹ בֵּין לְפָנָיו בֵּין לְאַחֲרָיו …at the crow of the rooster or adjacent to it, either…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 7 Pt. 2

וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ אִישִׁי כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל עֲמֹד וְהָפֵג אַחַת עַל הָרִצְפָּה And they would say to him, “My Master, High Priest.…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 5 Pt. 3

וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ אִישִׁי כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל אָנוּ שְׁלוּחֵי בֵית דִּין [When they administered this oath] they said to him, “My man,…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 5 Pt. 2

וְהִשְׁבִּיעוּהוּ וְנִפְטְרוּ וְהָלְכוּ לָהֶם And [the Elders of the Priesthood] had him take an oath [to the High Priest], and…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 3 Pt. 5

וּמַעֲבִירִין לְפָנָיו פָּרִים וְאֵילִים וּכְבָשִׂים כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא מַכִּיר וְרָגִיל בָּעֲבוֹדָה And they pass before [The High Priest] bulls and rams…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 3 Pt. 2

וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ אִישִׁי כֹהֵן גָּדוֹל קְרָא אַתָּה בְּפִיךָ And [the Elders] would say to him, “My good fellow, High Priest.…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 2 Pt. 4

שֶׁכֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל מַקְרִיב חֵלֶק בָּרֹאשׁ וְנוֹטֵל חֵלֶק בָּרֹאשׁ As the High Priest sacrifices any portion [of his choice] first, and…

Hello Gertie!

Summer is creeping in here in Northern California. My life is in the process of shifting from urban Berkeley to…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 1 Pt. 6

אָמְרוּ לוֹ אִם כֵּן אֵין לַדָּבָר סוֹף [The Rabbis] said [to Rabbi Yehuda], “If so, there is no end to…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 1 Pt. 4

רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר אַף אִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת מַתְקִינִין לוֹ שֶׁמָּא תָמוּת אִשְׁתּוֹ Rabbi Yehuda says, “They even prepared another wife for…

Mishnah Yoma Chapter 1 Mishnah 1 Pt. 1

שִׁבְעַת יָמִים קֹדֶם יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מַפְרִישִׁין כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל Seven days prior to Yom Kippur, they remove the High Priest… This…

Bless This Mess

I have been teaching in SVARA’s Mishnah Collective for the past few years. Every month, we inform our coordinator of…

The Real Miracle of Hanukkah

Hanukkah is here, wagging its annoying tail and jumping its big old muddy self up on folks like me who…

Note to Self: Choose Life

This is the last Hot Off The Shtender of 5783. Rosh Hashana allegedly marks the birthday of the world, but…

An (Im)Perfect Step

Here we go. True confession. I was a serious marching band nerd. There. Done. I’ve said it. In a time…

Healing, Heroes, and Holding Hands

Julie (my practically-perfect-in-every-way spouse) and I have, over the past few years, gobbled up a series of action-y adventure type…

He Chopped Up the Damn Boat

At SVARA, we talk a lot about what it means to sniff out a crash. Rabbi Benay Lappe (whom I’ve…

Holy Mirrors

I went on a whirlwind road trip recently to Los Angeles. Long story abbreviated: 50 years ago, in a universe…

Honoring the Pain We Carry

They say that aging is not for the faint of heart, and I can attest to that. With 63 in-the-body…

Torah on a Tightrope

My colleague, mentor, teacher, and most of all my friend, Rachel Brodie, died suddenly and unexpectedly in April. Rachel profoundly…

Finding Our Way

I grew up on a scrappy strip of Southern California beach. As a kid in the 1960s, I spent hours…

Turn In It

בֶּן בַּג בַּג אוֹמֵר, הֲפֹךְ בָּהּ וַהֲפֹךְ בָּהּ, דְּכֹלָּא בָהּ. וּבָהּ תֶּחֱזֵי, וְסִיב וּבְלֵה בָהּ, וּמִנַּהּ לֹא תָזוּעַ, שֶׁאֵין לְךָ…

Trans Bodies and Talmud

I’ve been studying with SVARA for a long time—25.806% of my life, to be precise—and for much of that time…

Finding Our Truths

(I am dedicating this learning to my teachers, friends, and supporters: Rabbi Benay Lappe, and Bonnie Kahn Martin—may their legacies…