One of the most powerful ways to grow in our learning and teaching is to bring attention to our practice and reflect on what we’re doing. Practice, reflect, practice, reflect: that is the cycle of learning that we’re all about, and mentorship gives time and space to that reflection. 

Mentorship meetings happen approximately six times throughout the year, though you are welcome to meet with your mentor for up to one session per month. (If you find that you’d benefit from direct relational support from a faculty member more regularly than once per month, be in touch with Laynie, Julie, or Mónica to help make a plan to get you resourced.)

This space is for you, and is an opportunity to explore areas of your learning and teaching with a SVARA faculty member who can create a container of reflection and support for you. Your mentor might point you to a resource that can further your exploration or help you work on a skill you’d like to bring attention to. They might listen, hold space for what’s coming up, and offer a reflection or resonance from their own experience teaching. Your mentors can also serve as a resource to help you design, implement, and reflect on your teaching practica. Your mentor will come to each session with some broad questions for you, and you should come to your mentorship session with a sense of what you’d like to explore in the conversation. 

Things you might explore in mentorship:

In your Learning Year:

  • What’s coming up for you in your learning?
  • How is your chevruta going? What are you noticing about learning in chevruta?
  • What are the learning processes (in the rubric specifically, if relevant) that you’re feeling most excited to explore? What are you doing to bring attention to that process in your learning?
  • How is your relationship to Talmud growing or being impacted through this learning?
  • How is the learning that we’re doing in shiur impacting how you’re thinking about teaching?
  • How are you integrating—or not!—this method of learning with other methodologies that you’ve encountered or are encountering now in other learning spaces?
  • How are you—as the full person you are with the identities that you hold— experiencing this learning? What are you noticing about how your identities are showing up & impacted?
    • What are you noticing about how power & positionality are playing out in the many relationships of this Kollel: in your relationship to the text? In your chevruta? In shiur? In the Kollel more broadly? In your teaching?

In your Pedagogy Year:

  • What’s coming up for you in the process of teaching?
  • What aspects of COMP are you noticing and bringing attention to in your teaching? (You can use the COMP reflections in the HoMoreh Derekh if you find that helpful!)
  • What support do you need at this stage of your practicum? (This can be nuts & bolts and/or big picture. Examples: creating a vision, talking through logistics and calendaring, learning the text, reflecting on experiences, getting support navigating institutions, workshopping issues that arise, etc.)
  • What are you learning about the kind of teaching that makes you feel most aligned? Is there anything about the people in the “room”? The text? The space?
  • What prior experiences of learning and teaching are you bringing into the room when you’re teaching? How are they impacting the learning space?
  • How are your hopes and visions developing related to your ongoing teaching practice—in this method and beyond?
  • How are you—as the full person you are with the identities that you hold— facilitating this learning? What are you noticing about how your identities are showing up & impacted?
    • What are you noticing about how power & positionality are playing out in the bet midrash (for you and your learners)?

Scheduling Mentorship*

You are responsible for scheduling with your mentor! Throughout the year, you’ll see “Schedule mentorship meeting” as an assignment listed on your syllabus. These meetings will happen approximately six times throughout the year. See below for specific instructions for how to schedule time with your mentor. If you’re having trouble finding a time and need some help, you can write to Laynie and they’ll help you get a time on the books.

Becky | schedule a meeting with Becky

Bronwen | schedule a meeting with Bronwen

Dev | schedule a meeting with Dev by emailing this address to be in touch with Dee (who works at Kehilla with Dev), and let Dee know that it’s for a mentoring appointment for the SVARA Teaching Kollel.

Jhos | schedule a meeting with Jhos

Julie | schedule a meeting with Julie

Mónica | schedule a meeting with Mónica


*A note about our mentorship team: We are proud of the ways in which our mentorship team reflects many aspects of diversity in our community, including age, gender, religious expression / experiences, class-background, and educational experiences (among other things!), *AND* our work is not even close to being complete, and the fullness of our community is not yet represented in our mentorship team. We know that each of our identities are unique in the ways they show up in our teaching. In addition to training our mentors to open-heartedly hold questions of power/oppression, projection, and identity salience, we are exploring opportunities to connect Black Fellows, Fellows of Color, Fellows who are trans femme and trans women, and disabled Fellows to leaders and teachers from within and beyond SVARA’s immediate learning community to support individuals who would like to supplement their coaching.