Is your idea of a good time learning Talmud all day (and maybe even most of the night) in a bet midrash full of queers* and radicals? OK, now add to that an idyllic setting in nature, on 20 lakeside acres, with the Dream Team of the Traditionally Radical Jewish world! And beside Talmud, think: music, hiking, crafts, davening, meditation, singing around the campfire, swimming, sailing, dancing, and just general shmoozing and hanging out. So you picturing that? That’s the SVARA Queer* Talmud Camp!
* Questions about “queer”? Check out our FAQ!
Whether you’re an advanced Talmud learner, or a total beginner just starting out and wanting to improve quickly, this Talmud retreat is for you! All you need is the ability to decode, i.e., sound out, Hebrew letters (even without comprehension) and you’ll be learning Talmud in the original in your first hour.
This will be a mixed-level bet midrash of beginners to experienced Talmud learners. The beginners will be learning the Talmud text itself with Rashi. The more advanced learners will go beyond the Talmud into codes and medieval commentaries. All texts will be learned in the original Hebrew/Aramaic–but don’t let that scare you! Even if you can only sound out your alef-bet, you can do this! We guarantee it!
Perlstein Resort in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, about 3 hours north of Chicago.
All meals and snacks are certified kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc).
Retreat participants are housed in beautiful hotel-like accommodations, in either the Lodge (18 rooms) or the Guest House (14 rooms). Each room is individually climate controlled (air conditioned), with a private bath, and includes linens and towels. Daily housekeeping is available.
Click Here for Perlstein Resort Directions.
We are currently working on updating our payment policy. In the meantime, if you’d like to apply for Queer Talmud Camp, please send us an application and we’ll be in touch about payment at a later date.
We want everyone who would like to attend the retreat to be able to come. If you are in need of scholarship assistance to make it possible for you to come, please let us know. If you are able to contribute to the scholarship fund, please let us know that, too! While scholarship funds are limited, we will do our best to make sure everyone who wants to come is able to. Cuz that’s our motto: At SVARA, everybody gets to come!
There are two dictionaries required for doing the work of this retreat. You’ll need to purchase them on your own and bring them to the retreat.
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.”
These are great dictionaries for any and all future Talmud study (with Rabbi Lappe or elsewhere).