Teacher Training


Last fall, SVARA launched the Transformative Talmud Teaching Fellowship, a teacher education program designed to train a cadre of gifted, experienced educators, rabbis, activists, community leaders and change-makers in both the SVARA method of teaching Talmud and the creation of radical bet midrash-centered communities of Jewishly rooted, svara-dik learners around the world.

SVARA’s Teaching Fellows will emerge with a new lens through which to view the Talmud, the bet midrash setting, the pedagogy of Talmud teaching, the teacher-student relationship—and the Jewish tradition itself. Over the course of nine months, Fellows gain the skills and experience to allow them to upend the educational power dynamics of all-too-many conventional Jewish educational settings, shifting the focal point from teacher to learner, and the bet midrash environment to one of crisp, critical pedagogy, clear methodology, rigor, empowerment, and transformation.

SVARA’s Transformative Talmud Teaching Fellowship will train and support a new generation of queer and trans teachers and leaders who will make empowering and transformative experiences of Talmud study as a traditionally radical spiritual practice accessible to all.



The Program

The Fellowship consists of immersive retreats, Talmud learning, teaching practicums, faculty mentoring, and peer support for a holistic approach to teacher training. The program components include:

– Three retreats throughout the year:

Fall Retreat (4 days in Chicago, IL)

Winter Retreat (4 days in Chicago, IL)

Spring Retreat (3 days in Chicago, IL)

Weekly chevruta learning of SVARA’s core texts

– Monthly mentorship meetings with a SVARA faculty member

Applied teaching practice of the SVARA method, including teaching a three-week bet midrash in the fall and a six-week bet midrash in the spring, either independently or in partnership with a local institution, with support and coaching throughout

Practitioner inquiry, a self-directed experiment, research project, or deep dive into an aspect of SVARA’s pedagogical approach, to be shared with peers

Ideal Applicants

– have a commitment to Talmud study as a spiritual practice

– are invested in creating transformative and empowering learning experiences

– are experienced teachers with strong facilitation skills

– are familiar with SVARA’s unique queer, critical approach to Talmud study and pedagogy

– have extensive exposure to and experience learning rabbinic literature in the original

– identify as queer

Application Details

Applications for Cohort 2 of SVARA’s Transformative Talmud Teaching Fellowship are now closed. We will be accepting applications for Cohort 3 (Fall 2020-Spring 2022) in November, 2019. Questions?! Write to Laynie!


Meet COHORT 1 (Fall 2018 – Spring 2019):

Becky Silverstein

Bronwen Mullin

Dev Noily

Gray Myrseth

Hayley Goldstein






Jhos Singer


Lauren Tuchman

Micah Buck-Yael
















If you would like to know more about SVARA’s Transformative Talmud Teaching Fellowship, please contact Laynie Soloman, SVARA’s Director of National Learning.


This fellowship is generously supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation.