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Where Jewish Experiences Happen for Children, Teen and Adults with Special Needs

Shaare Tikva-Gates of Hope | Learning Space | Moreshet | The Artistic Spectrum of Jewish Learning | Youth Groups | Teen Space | Kolot Tikva-Voices of Hope Choir | Parent Bagel n' Chat  | Upcoming Events

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the 2013/2014 OurSpace Calendar.

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the New Student Enrollment Form for 2013/2014

OurSpace embraces each individual’s unique style of learning and expression while celebrating their strengths and abilities. OurSpace develops long lasting friendships and creates community.

OurSpace/Special Needs programs are designed for children, teens and adults with special needs, and their families, who want to live a full Jewish life, experience Jewish learning, and celebrate holidays and lifecycle events with friends and community.  OurSpace faculty utilizes creative teaching strategies to reach and educate children and young adults with a variety of learning strengths, abilities, and challenges.

OurSpace programs are a collaboration of Temple Aliyah and Valley Beth Shalom. Thanks to the support of The Jewish Federation Valley Alliance and BJE LA, our synagogue communities joined forces in 2008 to better serve the needs of our synagogue communities and the community at large. From expanding enrollment in existing classes to creating new programs – we are here to serve you! Synagogue membership is not required for participation in any OurSpace program.

For more information, please contact OurSpace Director, Susan North Gilboa, at or 818-530-4069.

OurSpace programs at Temple Aliyah & VBS include:

Shaare Tikva – Gates of Hope (Ages 3 – 18 at VBS)
A weekly program filled with learning through multi-sensory experiences, prayer, song, art and socializing for children and teenagers ages 3-18 with developmental delays and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders. These programs take place at VBS on Sunday Mornings.

Learning Space (Grades 2– 7 at Temple Aliyah)
A weekly class for students who thrive in a small classroom environment. These classes serve students with a range of learning and social challenges, including language and visual processing disorders, ADD/ADHD, and OCD.  These classes take place on Tuesday afternoons at Temple Aliyah.

Alef: 2nd – 4th grade
Bet:  5th – 7th grade

Moreshet – Heritage (Grades 4 – 7 at VBS)
A bi-weekly class for students with a variety of learning styles. In classes with a small-teacher ratio and differentiated instruction, Moreshet serves students with processing disorders, ADD/ADHD, OCD, and learning and social challenges.  These classes meet on Monday and Wednesdays at VBS.

The Artistic Spectrum of Jewish Learning – (18+ Sundays at VBS)
This weekly course approaches Jewish study and expression through the arts, including fine art, sculpture, photography, film, cooking, textiles, music, and dance. Course instructors are both professional artists and special needs experts.

B'Yachad Youth Groups (Ages 7-18+ at Temple Aliyah and VBS)
A monthly youth program that provides children with a warm and active environment for socializing and good fun.  Programming is related to Jewish holidays or special events.

B’Yachad Alef: 7–11yrs (at Temple Aliyah)
B’Yachad Bet: 12–18+yrs (at Valley Beth Shalom)

Teen Space (Grades 8-11 at Temple Aliyah)
OurSpace Teen Space is open to graduates of the OurSpace Learing Space (Temple Aliyah) and Moreshet (VBS) classes, in addition to teens from the community at large who want to continue their Jewish learning.  This program is designed for teens interested in tikkun olam and social opportunities who prefer learning with a small group, need a differentiated approach to learning, as well as receiving support when navigating the social scene.

What makes this program even more unique is that participants of OurSpace Teen Space will go offsite to learn at The Media Enrichment Academy in Sherman Oaks. The curriculum for the first year will focus on their Jewish journey. Students will discover Torah and relevant connections to their lives; will develop an understanding of what God and Torah mean to them, will connect Torah texts with main ideas and morals or values they have learned.

Kolot Tikva – Voices of Hope Choir (at Temple Aliyah)
Kolot Tikva/Voices of Hope Choir, under the direction of Temple Aliyah’s Hazzan Mike Stein, is a choir for children, teens and adults with special needs. The participants learn and sing songs in both Hebrew and English for the pure joy of singing. While music helps to improve speech and language, the Kolot Tikva Choir gives its participants a space to raise their voices in song embracing and celebrating their strengths and abilities. This program is crafted in a way that allows members to learn and perform music that uses all of their potential.  It is open to all who apply. The OurSpace Voices of Hope /Kolot Tikva Choir has performed at a Shomrei Torah Kabbalat Shabbat service, the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance dinner, City Hall Hanukkah Candle Lighting Ceremony and most recently at the Temple Aliyah original Gospel service by Hazzan Mike Stein. Choir rehearsals take place on Sunday evenings, twice a month, at Temple Aliyah.

Parent Bagel N’ Chat (at Temple Aliyah and VBS)
A monthly chat offering parents a setting  to  network, share, learn, schmooze and build community. Open to all OurSpace parents. These monthly chats take place on Sunday mornings at VBS and on Tuesday mornings or evenings at Temple Aliyah.

Contact Information

For more information on any of the OurSpace programs and events, please visit or contact OurSpace Director, Susan North Gilboa, at or 818-530-4069.

OurSpace is available to the community at-large, to participate in any of the programs synagogue membership is not required. OurSpace programming is made possible in part through the support from the Elaine Berke Endowment Fund to Shaare Tikva and from community grants and donations. Temple Aliyah’s OurSpace/Special Needs Program is made possible in part through the generous support of Roberta & Steve Small.

Upcoming Events:

Upcoming Programming:

Sun., March 23, 1:00-3:00 p.m.,
Fee: $2 for snacks & water bottles

OurSpace B’Yachad Bet and The Artistic Spectrum of Jewish Learning Class are going to Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a special TOUR! Please RSVP to:; CLICK HERE for more information.

Thurs.., March 27, 7:00 p.m. Hearts of Hope: A Celebration of the Human Soil at Shomrei Torah Synagogue. Guest speakers: Rabbis Charles and Erez Sherman. An uplifting evening discussion about challenges, triumphs and strategies for creating “a new normal.”

For more info or to RSVP, contact Susan North Gilboa, at


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Encino, California 91436
(818) 788-3584
Fax: (818) 530-4020

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