SVARA @ Kol Tzedek Bet Midrash

Learn with SVARA faculty members Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari and Laynie Soloman at the SVARA @ Kol Tzedek Bet Midrash in Philadelphia!

Come experience the magic of the Talmud in a super-supportive, love-fest atmosphere. All texts are taught in the original Hebrew/Aramaic. An ability to decode the Hebrew alphabet (sound out the letters without comprehension) is the only requirement. The SVARA bet midrash welcomes total beginners and veteran students alike. We try to create a space in which folks historically excluded from the tradition can engage in intimate and intense conversation with it—and each other—through serious text study and dialogue.

Learning with SVARA

SVARA’s core learning happens in the bet midrash, a space for study partners to build a relationship with the Talmud text, with one another, and with the tradition–and to do all that in community. The learning is rigorous, yet the bet midrash environment is warm and supportive. Learning at SVARA focuses on skill-building (learning how to learn), revealing and understanding the radical core of the Jewish tradition, becoming “players” in it, cultivating Talmud study as a spiritual practice, and becoming people shaped by one of the central technologies of our tradition: Talmud Torah.

Our mission is to open Talmud learning to the 99% of Jews who have been shut out of the bet midrash for two millennia. SVARA is for you if  you didn’t grow up at day school or summer camp, you’re queer in any number of ways that give you the valuable insight of the outsider, you’re a woman who was told that Jewish learning isn’t for you,  you are or aren’t observant, or your relationship with Judaism doesn’t match traditional expectations. SVARA students bring their real-life experiences to bear on the text and the tradition and learn in a Queer-normative space.

Stay tuned for updates on SVARA @ Kol Tzedek in 2019.