Courtesy of Svara

Rabbi Benay Lappe

Svara (Yeshiva) | Chicago, Illinois | 53 years old
Conservative | Jewish Theological Seminary

Rabbi Benay Lappe has provided her students and the entire Jewish community with the opportunity to see that Judaism is smarter, more radical and sexier than we ever imagined. She has modeled, taught and demonstrated that — particularly to those of us who have not been the receivers of a Judaism that speaks to us or about us — we all have the capacity to engage with our tradition and with ourselves in a way that will make the pages of the Talmud breathe, come alive and sustain both Judaism and us today. She manages to bring students to Jewish learning and step out of the way, so that it is the student who is actively engaging and becoming a learned, empowered and confident bearer of Jewish tradition. Her authenticity, love for the rabbis of the Talmud and devotion to her students’ learning ensure that her lessons bind themselves to our hearts and illuminate our lives.

— Mary Otts and two others

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