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“Thrilling, creative, accessible, queer. Would you believe us if we told you we were describing the Talmud, the foundational work of rabbinic Judaism?”

– Julie Batz and Noah Westreich, SVARA Teaching Fellows

For two decades SVARA has offered immersive, joyful, and radical learning that centers queer and trans folks.

No matter who you are or how you identify, we invite you to dive into our offerings.

Explore what we learn and how we learn it

Our calendar of virtual gatherings

This season, we’re serving up something for everyone!


No matter where you are in your learning journey, we want you to feel at home at SVARA.

Scroll through the sidebar to identify the starting point that most resonates with you. We’ll help you find a good place to dive in.

I’m new!

We’re so glad you’re here! All learning at SVARA starts with the CRASH Talk. You’re also invited to check out these “I’m new” resources:

I want to find community.

One of the best ways to build community at SVARA is by attending our daily 30-minute learning space Mishnah Collective. We also offer a collection of affinity spaces with spiritual frameworks and recurring community events. Check out the Trans Halakha Project, the Disability Justice Torah Circle, and the Communal Loss Adaptation Project.

I want to go deeper with my Talmud practice.

We can relate! Nurture an independent Talmud practice, or consider entering one of our teacher training programs.


September 12th, 2023

During this month of Elul, SVARA-niks of all backgrounds have been journeying through two dazzlingly distinct learning spaces focused on Rambam’s Hilkhot Teshuva—Laws of Repentance and Repair. On September 12th, we’re bringing together our entire community to share in each others’ wisdom and unpack what we gleaned from the text, our chevrutas, and from deep within. Special guests Rabbi Ari Lev and SVARA Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Benay Lappe will join us to drop some rad insights from their years-long chevruta on Hilkhot Teshuva. This is sure to be a memorable evening that will inspire us all into personal and communal transformation. Everyone is welcome – register here!
Image Description: Turquoise text reads "Translating Teshuva: A community siyum for everyone! A joyful gathering to explore themes and teachings from Rambam's Hilkhot Teshuva as we complete our Elul learning." Beneath the text are two photographs, one of Rabbi Benay Lappe smiling in front of a shtender, and one of Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari smiling with a whiteboard behind him. They are both wearing colorful plaid shirts. Text beneath the photos reads, "Tuesday, September 12th: 8-9:30pm ET / 7-8:30pm CT / 5-6:30pm ET." The logos for Kol Tzedek and SVARA are placed at the top of the image.

Check out these offerings led by folks who have found a home in the SVARA bet midrash.

Revolutionary Reading Group | Every other Wednesday
Offered collaboratively by The New Synagogue Project, Shel Maala, the Torah Studio, and Synagogues Rising

This year, the Trans Halakha Project released eleven glittering gems of brand-new knowledge into the world: ten teshuvot, practical papers on applying Jewish law to our lives, each written on a different facet of the trans experience, and Tefillat Trans, a pocket-sized prayerbook of Jewish blessings and rituals for moments of trans experience. Their authors create “euphoric halakha”—not dysphoric halakha—by bringing their own experiences of transness to questions of transness as has never been done before in Jewish history. Join the Revolutionary Reading Group as they hold one another accountable in learning from and bearing witness to these euphoric halakha resources.

FALL 2023

A dreamy season full of programs that give learners of all backgrounds the tools to shape Jewish tradition.

A SVARA-nik reads from a masechet in the bet midrash. Their left hand is placed on a page of Talmud, pointing to one word on the daf. Dictionaries and rainbow alef-bet tools can be seen in the background.

Enrollment for Fall Zman is OPEN, y’all!

Fall Zman runs from October 23rd to December 12th and we can’t WAIT to get back to the bet midrash! You can use the toolbar below to sort through our offerings.


Schedule some time to chat one-on-one with SVARA Staff!

A SVARA-nik's hands sit on an open Talmud on a shtender. The beit midrash reference guide is sitting on the table.

DIY Chevruta: Tanur Shel Achnai


Compiling the Next Trans Codex

Beyond Talmud

Disability Justice as Spiritual Text

Beyond Talmud

COVID Spiritual Practice Group

Beyond Talmud