Educational Programs and Opportunities

Take a look at our educational programs and opportunities.

Gates of Discovery Preschool

We regret to announce that Gates of Discovery: The Rose and George Teller Preschool of Shaare Tefila will be temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is our hope that, as circumstances change, we will be able to again offer a preschool to the greater Olney community.  For more information about our current preschool aged programming, please contact Babette Cohn at 301-593-3410 ext. 106 or

Chavaya-Religious School

JOIN US FOR THE 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR – Looking for an engaging, liberal Jewish education program for your child? For the past 10 years we have successfully used an online platform with grades 3-7 for one-on-one Hebrew learning arranged at times convenient for families and tutors together. While all grades focus on Jewish Studies on Sundays, grades K-2 attend tuition-free. We also offer engaging social and educational experiences for grades 8 & up. The new school year will begin virtually on Sunday, September 13, and will continue in a virtual format until further notice. If you would like to learn more please contact Babette Cohn, Director of Education & Programming.

The 2020-21 Chavaya Staff Welcomes You!
Check out their messages in this video.

The calendar for Chavaya Religious School and other family programs can be found here.

The 2020-21 Hebrew Tutoring Calendar can be found here.

The Mission of the Chavaya Religious School at Shaare Tefila is to provide the children of Shaare Tefila with:
A familiarity and knowledge of Jewish traditions, 
Love and respect for Torah, 
Connection to the people of and the land of Israel, 
An understanding of Jewish history, and 
Fostering a sense of responsibility to our world through Derech Eretz (ethical decency) and Tikkun Olam.

Keeping in mind the following core values, our students learn that they are part of the sacred community that is Shaare Tefila Congregation:
KEHILAH KEDOSHAH – We are a “holy community”
SHALOM BAYIT – “Peace in the house”
KAVOD – “Respect” or “Honor”
CHESED – “Kindness” or “Loving kindness”

Virtual Class Schedule – During the fall of 2020 our program will be held online every Sunday:
Grades K-11:  Sundays between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., organized with each class having its own time slot.  Separate classes for grades 8 & 9 and 10 & 11 will each meet twice a month on alternating Sundays.
Grades 3-7:  Midweek 30 minutes of one-on-one Hebrew tutoring online, time scheduled at the convenience of the family and tutor together.

In Person Class Schedule – When the public health environment allows our school will be structured as follows:
Grades K-2: Sundays 9:30-12:00
Grades 3-7: Sundays 9:30-12:00, plus 30 minutes of Hebrew tutoring online each week.
Grades 8 & 9 and 10 & 11: 9:30-12:00, twice a month for each class with a focus on topics of interest and field trips.

For more information or questions, contact Director of Education & Programming Babette Cohn or by phone at 301-593-3410 ext 106. 

Adult Learning

Ongoing classes: New participants always welcome!

  • Wednesday morning Torah Study – weekly – 11am-Noon
    Join Rabbi Layman every week as we discuss that week’s Torah portion. Learn about how the ancient text becomes relevant to our lives today.
  • What does the Torah teach us? What do the traditional commentaries add to our understanding? How is the Five Books of Moses relevant to our lives today? These questions and more are explored as we delve into the text in the English translation.
  • “Two people grab a garment; one says ‘it’s mine’ and the other says ‘it’s mine’”. Join our Talmud class as we explore this section of the Talmud and learn how the rabbis 1500 years ago made Jewish law and practice meaningful and contemporary.
  • Do you know how to read Hebrew? Would you like to practice to become a more fluent reader? Join this class as we use the prayerbook as our text. Not only will we practice reading Hebrew but we’ll also explore the origin and meaning of the liturgy.
  • Hidden Histories and Untold Stories – A Shaare Tefila Sponsored Lecture Series
    Tuesdays at 8 PM ET 

    JTS Registration Linkuse code OlneyFall20

    Join JTS scholars as they uncover the hidden context around biblical figures and important eras in Jewish history.

    · 11/10: Dr. David Fishman on how religious pre-Holocaust Eastern European Jewry actually was—or wasn’t

    · 11/17: Dr. Alan Cooper on why we stopped caring about Moses’s descendants

    · 12/1: Dr. Sarah Wolf on how foreign the beit midrash would feel to the early Rabbis

    · 12/8: Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky on what the Bible really had against Jezebel

Bar / Bat Mitzvah Training

Coming Soon

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16620 Georgia Avenue, Olney, MD 20832
(301) 593-3410 |

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