Young Children and Families

kids with torahEARLY CHILDHOOD Center

The Ohr Kodesh Early Childhood Center and Camp Kodesh have been nationally and locally recognized for the outstanding quality of their programs. These programs offer a range of options for working and stay-at-home parents.  For more information, see the Early Childhood Center section of our site.

Tot Shabbat Service and Dinner

Each month, we offer a special Tot Shabbat Service and Shabbat Dinner for young children and their families. Beginning at 5:45 pm, this lively service includes singing Shabbat songs, some prayers and an interactive Shabbat story. An optional family-friendly Shabbat dinner follows at approximately 6:30 pm,

Rabbi Fishman, Cantor Gerber, Rachel Lang, and Joanie Smeltz (director of our Early Childhood Center) lead this fun and meaningful evening.

Please check our Web Calendar for upcoming dates for Tot Shabbat:

Shabbat & Chag Groups

Every Shabbat morning, Ohr Kodesh provides programs for children to take part in a fun and meaningful Shabbat experience and to allow parents to participate fully in Shabbat services. For our youngest children, we offer several options.

  1. Pre-shul (10:30 - 11:45) - Designed for 1 1/2 - 3 year olds. Parents are welcome to drop-off their children or stay with them. There is a brief Shabbat activity (singing and/or story). Our teen leaders are there to play with the children, read books, and provide snacks. We are also now experimenting twice a month (2nd & 4th Shabbatot) with an extended option from 9:30 - 11:45 am with a professional child care provider along with our teen leaders.
  2. Mini-Minyan (10:30 - 11:45) - Designed for 3 year olds - 1st graders. This group aims to build on the children’s repertoire of Shabbat songs and introduce them to additional Shabbat morning prayers. It includes a "Torah service" and an appropriate story and is led by our teen leaders. A snack is provided.
  3. Torah Tots (10:45 - 11:30) - Led by Rachel Lang, we offer a lively service on the first Shabbat of the month for young children and their parents/guardians. There are songs, interactive prayers, movement, puppets, and education.


Please check our Web Calendar for upcoming dates for Torah Tots.  Click HERE for Shabbat Group Summer dates.   


Mishpachah Matters

These family programs are designed to provide innovative ways for our pre-school aged children and their families to discover how they can make Judaism a more meaningful part of their daily lives.  They are offered three times a year, generally on Sunday mornings.

High Holidays

Similar to our Shabbat morning children's services, we offer age-appropriate groups with children's services and activities. However, these groups are run by adults and provide even more structure than the Shabbat groups.  These groups are available for 2.5 hours, during “peak” hours of the High Holiday service (10:30 – 1:00 on both days of Rosh HaShanah and 11:00 – 1:30 on Yom Kippur).  We also offer a Family Service preceding the High Holiday groups on the 1st day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. Click High Holidays to learn more.

Holiday Celebrationspony ride

On Simchat Torah, Chanukkah, Tu Bishvat, Purim, Yom Ha’atzmaut and Lag BaOmer, we have special youth or family programs that are appropriate for this age group. We also have a family picnic on Shavuot.


Music Education Program For Our Littlest Members, Beginning In The Fall

Ellie Schuchman, the music specialist at the ECC, offers shir a song classes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers along with their parent or caregiver. We will sing and dance to oldie-but-goodie secular songs AND some fun Shabbat and Jewish holiday songs, using finger plays, instruments, props, and dance. Please note: If your child is currently enrolled in the ECC, s/he will receive music time as usual. These classes are IN ADDITION and are for ECC or non-ECC children to attend (with a parent or caregiver) and are offered through Ms. Ellie Music (not the ECC).

Classes will be held at Ohr Kodesh Congregation, beginning in early September, on Thursday and Friday mornings. Classes are 45 minutes long and a series will include 10 classes but not consecutive weeks.

Registration is now open! Please go to for more information on classes, cost, and how to register. You can also email Ellie at info [at] mselliemusic [dot] com or call 240-604-7361.

Ohr Kodesh Congregation

8300 Meadowbrook Lane
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: (301) 589-3880
Fax:  (301) 495-4801

Email: executivedirector@

Map & Directions

Map and Directions to Ohr Kodesh