||The Telz Yeshiva was established in 1875 and existed in Tela till 1941. Established by the community's scholars, it developed into a central institution of traditional Jewish scholarship under the leadership of R. Eliezer Gordon, rabbi of the community from 1883 to 1910, and after his death, of R. Joseph Leib Bloch (1910–30). New methods were introduced in the yeshiva; the division of the pupils into five classes according to their knowledge, periodic tests, and compulsory attendance at classes. The study of musar was instituted under R. Gordon and became especially prominent under R. Bloch. The reputation of the yeshiva was furthered by R. Simeon Shkop (to 1904) and R. Hayyim Rabinowitz, who shaped the "way of Telz" in Torah study, which concentrated on the development of acuity and skill in profound logical analysis. After the Volozhin yeshiva was closed by the authorities in 1892, Telz became one of the central yeshivot in Russia and had 300–350 students. A new building was completed in 1897 (it was rebuilt after the great fire of 1908). When some Telsiai Jews were expelled during the general expulsion from Lithuania in 1915, the yeshiva continued its activities. During the period of Lithuanian independence (1918–40) the yeshiva was one of the three largest in the country, serving as a Torah center for all Orthodox Jewry.
In a community of 1,545 Jews in 1923 (approximately one third of the town's total population) and 2,800 Jews in 1939, the yeshiva had a decisive influence. A complete educational network was established under its control: an Orthodox kindergarten, an educational institution for boys, a school for girls, an Orthodox secondary school for girls called Yavneh, a seminary for Orthodox teachers, also called Yavneh (transferred in 1924 from Kovno to Telz), headed by R. Yizhak Raphael Holzberg-Ezion, and a Hebrew seminary for teachers. Near the yeshivah a kolel was established in which graduates of the yeshivah were trained for the rabbinate. The Orthodox Hebrew monthly Ha-Ne'eman (1928–31) and the bulletin of Agudat Israel in Lithuania, Der Yidisher Lebn, were issued in the town. Yeshivah students were sent to Lithuanian towns to establish "small yeshivot" (i.e., schools for children) in which they prepared children for study in the Tetz yeshivah. In the 1930s R. Abraham Isaac Bloch and R. Azriel Rabinowitz, the sons of its first leaders, were the heads of the yeshivah. With the Soviet annexation of Lithuania in 1940 the yeshivah building was confiscated and the students dispersed to several Lithuanian towns, where they continued their studies under their rabbis. A few teachers and students managed to reach the United States.