Thoughtful Discourse

Two SVARA-niks sit next to one another in the bet midrash. They are both smiling, clapping, and looking ahead towards someone out of frame.

SVARA is a home for queer and radical Torah, and we are committed to building a culture where we are all students and teachers to each other. We strive to create an environment of mutual respect, where a myriad of voices and perspectives are welcome. We believe that words create worlds, and we commit to thoughtful speech with integrity. We invite you to play an active role in manifesting this commitment by:

  • holding a posture of curiosity when encountering something new or uncomfortable
  • listening to understand rather than listening to respond
  • using a “yes, and” framework to add to conversation & learning
  • noticing when you’re talking more than others and thoughtfully choosing where you might offer your voice (take space / make space)
  • showing respect for the person sharing while challenging the idea being shared
  • striving not to deliberately or inadvertently undermine, disrespect, or dehumanize another person’s identity or experience
  • reaching out to a staff member when in need of resources about unfamiliar identities and experiences

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