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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

Join our season of growth and abundance


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.


SVARA events are community-centered spaces to learn with and from each other. Check ’em out!

Shaping Tradition | June 8th

SVARA is turning 20, y’all! In 2003, Rabbi Benay Lappe planted the first seeds of SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. On June 8th, we will be gathering our community in joyful celebration to reflect on the past 20 years and collectively support the next 20 years. Shaping Tradition is a first-of-its-kind celebration here at SVARA and truly everyone is invited, whether you’ve been learning with us for years or this is your first SVARA gathering.


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

Revolutionary Reading Group | Every other Wednesday beginning May 3, 2023
Offered collaboratively by The New Synagogue Project, Shel Maala, the Torah Studio, and Synagogues Rising

Last month, 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.

Alefbet Soup for the Soul | June 4th, 11th, and 18th
Offered by Shel Maala

The letters of the alef-bet aren’t just scratches on parchment. They have their own personalities. They speak with G-d, rule over nature and emotion, and reveal hidden Torah. Dive into the world of Jewish mysticism and numerology in Shel Maala’s next class: Alefbet Soup for the Soul: A Crash-Course in the Magic Letters of Judaism. In this three-week crash course, Shel Maala-nik dr. ada morse will lead an exploration of the alef-bet from early Kabbalistic creation stories to modern queer gematria.

QueerCoreTalmud | Sundays, July 16-August 20, 2023
Offered by SVARA Fellows Maggid Jhos Singer and Julie Batz

Check out this uplifting, queer-normative, and inclusive 6-week combination of Original Ink and QueerCore Talmud, through the Beit Midrash of the JCC of San Francisco. Class information and registration available starting June 5.


We’ve designed some offerings that support deepening in all directions for learners of all backgrounds.

SVARA-nik Gallery

A brand new digital space to share and discover artistic expressions of queer Talmud. Whether you create pottery, noise-music, poetry, leather, experimental art, or something in between, your work is welcome!

DIY Chevruta

New and improved resources for you and your chevruta to learn together outside of the SVARA bet midrash! This is for folks who have participated in SVARA-style learning before and are interested in cultivating an ongoing Talmud practice.

Community Connections

Throughout the summer, we’ll be scheduling casual meet-ups hosted by SVARA teachers, fairies, and staff to connect! There are also microgrants available to folks who want to host their own gatherings.