Bronwen Mullin (she/her) – Faculty
Bronwen is a SVARA Fellow and graduate of the SVARA Teaching Kollel. See serves as rabbi of Congregation Bnai Jacob of Jersey City where she gets to rabble-rouse in all the right places. She is a playwright, composer, and performance artist. Her Hebrew/Aramaic opera “Chalom” based on the 9th chapter of Masechet Berakhot, appeared in the 2012 International NYC Fringe Festival. Bronwen is currently developing her 2nd full-scale opera, “Bat Yiftach: A Tragic Punk Opera” thanks to a JTS Seeds of Innovation and Myers Family grant. Bronwen is also an inaugural fellow with the Rising Song Institute.
James Evans (he/him) – Program Operations Manager
James has been a Chicago resident since the fall of 2012 and has been an active SVARA learner since 2016. He attended Florida State University, where he studied Political Science and French. As an Eagle Scout, his personal motto is “Always be prepared!” When not working on making sure you have the most AMAZING learning environment, he can often be found with his nose in a sci-fi/fantasy book or cooking a delicious meal with friends.
Amir Weg (he/him) – Fairy
Amir is a Fellow in the SVARA Teaching Kollel. He has been a student of Talmud and a SAVARA-nik since 2013. He joined the staff in 2017, and serves as SVARA’s Learning Coordinator. In addition to teaching Talmud, he runs workshops in Hebrew/Aramaic grammar at Queer Talmud Camp and other programs. Outside of the bet midrash, he spends his time listening to podcasts, watering his numerous house plants, and cooking Shabbat dinners.
Annie Sommer Kaufman (she/her) – Fairy
Annie is a Fellow in the SVARA Teaching Kollel. She teaches sewing, Talmud, and Yiddish; sewing at RefugeeOne, where she manages the sewing studio, Talmud at The Lace Midrash, which grew out of her training as a SVARA learner and teacher, and Yiddish at Chicago’s YIVO and Workers’ Circle. Anye is translating an American communist novel to English with the support of The Yiddish Book Center, and serves on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace.
Eliana Mastrangelo (she/her) – Fairy
Eliana is studying to be a rabbi at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is Fellow in the SVARA Teaching Kollel. She is a compassionate and skilled community organizer, teacher and trainer. Previously, she was a Lead Organizer at Together Colorado, a multi-faith, multi-racial organization committed to placing human dignity and care for creation at the center of public life. Eliana is committed to building the sacred power of organized people fed by a nurturing and agitational Torah.