Shabbat school

Beit Sefer school year commences on September 30, 2023. 

Shabbat School

Desert Outreach Synagogue offers a full-service religious school serving the Coachella Valley and beyond.

Under the direction of Arava Talve, our school offers families with children from pre-school age through high school an opportunity to learn about their Jewish heritage, liturgy, rituals, life-cycle events, and holidays. Through creative play, art, and study, our students learn and reflect on their own growing Jewish Identity.

class schedule


Classes 1-5 meet at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Desert.

Classes 6-7 meet on Zoom

Hebrew & religious school 

9:45 AM -12:00 PM with snack and break time
11:30 AM – Family T’fillah
12:00 PM -1:15 PM  – Midrasha Teen Program

Classes 6 and 7  are held via Zoom on Tuesday afternoons. 4:00 PM – to 5:15 PM

School director

Arava Talve

Arava Talve


Arava Talve came to DOS in 2022 after serving as B’nai Mitzvah coordinator assistant to the Rabbi and Melamedet at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, CA and Temple Sinai in Palm Desert.   

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Arava holds a master’s degree in Social Psychology from the Claremont Graduate School (now the Claremont Graduate University) and worked in the field for many years before she began her Jewish journey as an adult Bat Mitzvah student in the early 1990s. Since being called to the Torah, Arava has taught B’nai Mitzvah, confirmation, biblical Hebrew, introduction to Judaism, and other adult education classes. She is married to Tom Hill and lives in La Quinta, where she enjoys hiking, studying, and entertaining friends and family. She and Tom have three sons and enjoy indulging their four grandsons.

Gary M. Levin, Ed.D.

Gary M. Levin, Ed.D.

Hebrew reading, an introduction to the Siddur, holidays, and lifecycle events

Dr. Levin grew up in the Bronx, NY. After graduating from Long Island University, he moved to California, where he obtained his Masters and Doctorate degrees.

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Along the way, he received his teaching credentials and worked as a special education teacher and language and speech specialist. Following his teaching career, he became an administrator, serving in various positions at the district level until his retirement.

Upon retirement, Dr. Levin moved to the desert. He teaches in Desert Outreach Synagogue’s Beit Sefer program and Adult Education for Temple Isaiah. His extracurricular activities include being a virtual docent for the Holocaust Museum in LA and involvement with the Jewish Federation of the Desert. His favorite pastimes are traveling, especially cruising, and all forms of needlecraft, especially crocheting.

Marjorie Lander

Marjorie Lander

Teaches younger children in the Jewish Playgroup

Marjorie began her Religious school teaching career at the Hillel House in Athens, Ohio. While in her late 20s, she created children’s programs at the JCC in Cincinnati. 

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Her husband’s career in the retail art supply business led them to Connecticut, where the company’s owner was a board member of the local Temple. Recruited by the Temple to teach religious school, I spent nearly thirty years teaching at two temples in Connecticut. Retirement brought us to the Coachella Valley, where I teach at Desert Outreach Synagogue and Temple Sinai. I do not have children of my own, and I love that I can l’dor v’dorour rich traditions and heritage to Jewish children through teaching.


Group of diverse adults studying Jewish prayer book

Adult Education

Jewish education never ends; we continue studying and learning until the end. At DOS, we offer a series of exciting courses in Jewish studies. 

prayer book with Torah scroll and prayer shawl

Torah Study

We come together each Shabbat to delve into a portion of the Torah. Engagement in lively discussion is encouraged. We share its relevance in our lives and share personal world views.

Midrasha Class

Preparing for confirmation, Midrasha’s classes pursue a course of study that includes the Book of Ruth, the Ten Commandments, and Mussar (a Jewish study that promotes balance in one’s life.

cute little boy wearing a kippah eating a matzo cracker

Jewish Playgroup

Children (ages 4-7) now have a place to grow, play, learn, and build Jewish friendships. Children will learn about their Jewish heritage, rituals, and prayers through art, song, and story. 

Registration for classes

Click the button below to open our Registration Document. Complete it online or download the file.