Judaic Leadership

Rabbi Ariel Tovlev

Rabbi Ariel Tovlev

Spiritual Leader

Rabbi Ariel Tovlev (pronouns: he/him or they/them) received rabbinical ordination and a Master’s of Jewish Education through the Reform seminary, HUC-JIR. Additionally, he has two degrees in Creative Writing: a BFA from the University of British Columbia and an MFA from Chapman University.

Rabbi Ariel’s writing is featured in a number of CCAR Press titles, including original liturgy in Mishkan Ga’avah: Where Pride Dwells. He also has a strong dedication to tikkun olam, repairing the world. He is a former fellow and proud member of T’ruah: the Rabbinical Call for Human Rights.

Rabbi Tovlev lives with his spouse Cantor Ze’evi Tovlev (pronouns: they/them) and their four cats in College Park, MD. When he is not rabbi-ing or working on one of the books he is writing, Rabbi Ariel enjoys reading, spending time in nature, and watching reality TV shows.

Contact Rabbi Tovlev at [email protected]


Mindy Silverstein

Education Director

Mindy Silverstein, our incoming Director of Education, has over 35 years of experience in Jewish and family life education and communal work. She attended Boston University and received her Masters degree as well as her certification in Jewish Family Life Education from George Washington University.

Mindy enjoys looking for and creating different ways to engage students and families with Judaism.

Mindy lives in Olney with her husband Ken. They have three grown children; Adam, his wife Bri and their twin 7 year old sons, Keri and her husband Lee, and Jenna and her husband Andy. In her spare time, Mindy enjoys cooking, baking, crocheting, reading and binge watching tv programs.






Lev Axler


Lev Axler is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland, where he majored in Physics with a minor in Spanish. He is a lifelong musician, participating in numerous choirs and ensembles over the years, including Rak Shalom Jewish A Cappella at UMD. He attended the URJ Camp Harlam in Pennsylvania, where he was inspired by the Jewish music leaders of his childhood, and is so excited to bring his own music to Kehila Chadasha!





Reb David Shneyer

Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi David Shneyer (Reb David) is among the founders of Kehila Chadasha and has served the community for more than four decades. Reb David studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and in Israel, earning degrees in Judaic studies from Rutgers University and Baltimore Hebrew College. He received his “semicha” ordination from the Aleph Seminary, founded by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shlomi.

The past president of Ohalah, the Rabbinic Association of Jewish Renewal Rabbis, Reb David is also an accomplished musician, founding and leading the Fabrangen Fiddlers. The founder and director of Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community and Sanctuary Retreat Center, he also helped found Jews United for Justice. Reb David is active in the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, T’ruah and other social justice organizations.

Reb David and his wife, Diane Jacobstein, live in Rockville and they have two sons, Aaron and Dani. Dani lives and studies in near Jerusalem and Aaron and Lula and their children, Nahuel and Lev live in D.C.

Reb David’s Blog



We provide guidance, resources and officiation to our members and their loved ones for all life cycle events.

Britot: We perform baby-naming ceremonies for boys and girls. For boys, we offer recommendations and advice regarding ritual circumcision.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah: We offer counseling, training, guidance and help in planning the service and in serving as an officiate.

Weddings: We counsel and help couples design their marriage ceremonies. We officiate at interfaith marriages and same-sex marriages. We also provide counseling and resources for creating a Jewish home.

Conversion: For individuals interested in embracing Judaism we provide guidance, mentoring, and planning the conversion day.

End of Life: We offer pastoral counseling and visits to those in need.

Funerals: We are a member of the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington. We offer counseling and officiating at funerals and during the shiva period.