Established in 2003 by Rabbi Benay Lappe, SVARA’s mission is to teach Talmud through a radical lens to develop compassionate, critical thinking, and courageous humans who work to create a more just, peaceful, and healthy world. Through short- and long-term Talmud learning programs, SVARA teaches Talmud using the queer experience, so that people who have traditionally experienced Judaism as an outsider strengthen their connection to Judaism and gain the necessary text skills and expertise to enrich and define the evolving Jewish tradition. Each year through its programs primarily in Chicago, Philadelphia and the Bay Area, it reaches 2,000 individuals.
To launch the first queer-focused Talmud learning program in Los Angeles for the queer community and allies. SVARA’s immersive learning experiences will strengthen and empower the next generation of Jewish leaders and scholars.