The Way of Talmud: Spring Learning @ SVARA

At times like these—times of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, grief, and loss—we can support ourselves by leaning into the spiritual practices that our tradition has developed for us over the millennia, practices born out of moments of “crash” and uncertainty, and designed to be used daily, day in and day out, in good times and bad, to shape us into empathic, resilient, creative, complex-thinking and courageous human beings. At the core of those spiritual practices is Derech HaShas, the Way of the Talmud

This spring, SVARA will be exploring “The Way of Talmud” through: LOCAL BATEI MIDRASH (community-based learning) led by Faculty, Fellows, and Grassroots Bet Midrash Leaders; convening COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS in which we’ll explore how our tradition can speak to this current moment; and our MISHNAH COLLECTIVE, in which we’ll ground daily in the practice of studying, digging into the traditions of our ancestors with our Queer Talmud comrades.



Through local batei midrash (which will meet virtually), SVARA Faculty, Fellows, teachers, and community leaders are offering up spaces across the country (and beyond!) for rigorous, accessible Talmud learning as a spiritual practice in the weeks between Passover and Shavuot. We believe in the power of nurturing local communities and relationships at this time, even as we increase access to communities across time and space.

Are you gathering with your Queer Talmud comrades leading up to Shavuot to learn SVARA-style?! Let us know!


Tuesdays, April 28-May 19 | 6:45-9:00 PM ET | REGISTER!
Led by Rabbi Becky Silverstein, SVARA Fellow

Wednesdays, April 22-May 27 | 7:00-8:30 PM CT | REGISTER!
Led by Annie Kaufman, Grassroots Bet Midrash Leader

Sundays, April 19-May 24 | 7:00-8:30 PM IT | REGISTER!
Led by Uriel Levy & Mimi Farb, Grassroots Bet Midrash Leaders

Stay tuned for dates, times, and registration info!
Led by Rabbi Gray Myrseth & Rabbi Dev Noily, SVARA Fellows

Tuesdays, April 28-May 26 | 7:30-9:00 PM ET | REGISTER!
Led by Rabbi Mónica Gomery, SVARA Faculty Member

Stay tuned for dates, times, and registration info!
Led by Isaac Cowhey, Grassroots Bet Midrash Leader

Tuesdays, May 12-26 | 7:30-9:00 PM CT | REGISTER!
Led by Sara Lynn Newberger, SVARA Fellow

*While these learning spaces aren’t all run by SVARA, they are taught in SVARA’s method by Grassroots Leaders and Fellows. SVARA Fellows have completed or are currently participating in SVARA’s two-year Teaching Kollel, and are trained to implement and nurture bet midrash communities using SVARA’s method. Grassroots Bet Midrash Leaders are passionate SVARA learners, many of whom have attended a SVARA Pedagogy Intensive, who are interested in sharing their practice with their communities as leaders and facilitators. 




This spring, as we explore “The Way of Talmud,” we’ll convene Community Conversations in which SVARA’s Faculty, Fellows, community leaders & teachers, and learners join together about the questions and big ideas that we are grappling with as a community–both in and beyond the bet midrash. In this round of Community Conversations, we’ll unpack several questions together with our wider yeshiva community, for example: (1) Why study Talmud now? (2) What can disability justice movements teach us about learning & practicing in this moment? (3) How does the Talmud as a product of diaspora impact our learning right now? Stay tuned for more information!



We’ve grabbed some sugyot that we feel speak powerfully to this moment, in which the rabbis explore what it means to relate to God and our tradition while in the midst of a theological, political, and personal crash. You’ll find a marked-off daf, Hint Sheets, Torah Verse Sheets, and lots of other goodies you need to grab a chevruta and bring the bet midrash to you here! Select a text below to get started.