Our History

A Brief History of Talmud Torah of St. Paul

In the early 1900s, St. Paul’s Jewish community – with its homes, shops, synagogues, and resettlement centers – was located on the city’s West Side. Over the decades, the Jewish community migrated into the Highland Park neighborhood. By the 1940s, Jewish education was scattered in a number of schools, each emphasizing different aspects of religion and culture. In 1956, teachers from Mount Zion Congregation, Sons of Jacob Synagogue, and Temple of Aaron established a uniform program and merged to create one institution of community learning. The Talmud Torah of St. Paul (TTSP) was first located at the Temple of Aaron on South Mississippi Blvd. When Beth Jacob and Shir Tikvah congregations were established in the 1980s, their students and those from unaffiliated families were welcomed at TTSP. Needing more space in 1996, TTSP moved to its current Highland Park building on Hamline Avenue South.

A Community School

TTSP is a community school, serving congregations and St. Paul’s Jewish community as a whole rather than being identified with one stream of religious practice. TTSP’s reputation as a welcoming institution stems from decades of opening our doors to diverse learners and thinkers. TTSP’s mission in the 21st century remains the same:

To create life-long Jewish learners, passionate about Jewish tradition, committed to Jewish community and devoted to the well-being of all people.

Students can complement their learning through the George Kaplan Afternoon School (grades 2 through 8) and Midrasha programs (grades 9 through 12). Hineni, our Adult Learning program, offers classes that take place in various study settings. For students of all ages, the processes of learning new skills and acquiring knowledge are not compartmentalized but are brought together as a cohesive whole. Students bring the wisdom of the Torah with them as they consider modern scientific study or historical social movements. Our students’ insights and experiences influence their future decisions and actions.

Our Graduates

Talmud Torah alumni have graduated and gone on to complete advanced degree programs in outstanding colleges and universities. Many have elected to study in Israel as a way to integrate their interests with their love for Judaism and Hebrew. Over the last decade and a half, we have had many reasons to be proud of our graduates. They do not fit into one mold but have grown into the adult that was right for them. They have become musicians, lawyers, teachers, pilots, doctors, rabbis, entrepreneurs, writers, parents, and scientists. Most importantly, they have become concerned and ethical citizens of the world in which they live. We are proud of our alumni and honored to have played a role in their lives.

Our Mission

We are deeply committed to nurturing in students of all ages a life-long love of learning, pride in their Jewish identity, belief in themselves, and an understanding of their responsibility as citizens of the world. Within an accepting and egalitarian environment, we encourage each student to grow, guided by a strong sense of Jewish values and traditions.

Mission Statement

To create life-long learners, passionate about Jewish tradition, committed to Jewish community and devoted to the well-being of all people.

Our Values

Life-long Jewish Learning (Talmud Torah)

Because children represent the future of our community, we must instill in our children pride in their Jewish identity and joy in living as Jews, along with the desire to pursue their learning and grow in their Jewish commitments throughout their lives. Because Jewish learning is a life-long process, we facilitate opportunities for learners of all ages to deepen their understanding of, and devotion to, our tradition. Jewish learning for children and adults alike engages the whole person, providing intellectual stimulation, spiritual growth, and moral direction.

Jewish Tradition (Masoret)

We nurture an abiding love for God, Torah, the land and people of Israel. This love expresses itself through an understanding of, and commitment to, the many forms in which Jewish life has expressed itself over the ages – especially Hebrew language and literature, communal institutions, religious rituals and deeds of loving kindness. Because we recognize that there are many different ways to live out the meaning of this rich and multi-faceted heritage, we affirm the values of pluralism and mutual respect for all Jews.

Community (Kehilla)

Creating and sustaining community is essential for living productive and meaningful lives. We strengthen the bonds that unite us as Jews, as well as those that tie us to the many other communities in which we live and work – locally, nationally, and globally with programs such as Partnership 2000 which brings TTSP together with a school in the Kinneret region of Israel. Through our teaching and learning we cultivate the qualities necessary for living successfully in community – especially compassion for others and a commitment to seeking the common good – and so work to make the world a better place for everyone.

Partnership (Shutafut)

We work in partnership with all segments of the community. As an educational resource center, our programs are open to all members of the Jewish community and we welcome opportunities to share our expertise and facilities with all who join us in the fulfillment of our goals. Accordingly, we forge bonds of cooperation with all those we serve and work in concert with: families, synagogues, rabbis, local and national Jewish agencies, and other educational organizations.

Excellence (Hitstaynut)

We are committed to providing the highest quality education possible and strive to excel in all aspects of our work. We foster an atmosphere of warmth and openness, promote a spirit of creativity, maintain a respectful attitude toward those we serve and engage in continual self-assessment.

Diversity & Inclusion

Non-Discrimination Policy: Talmud Torah of St. Paul is committed to the principle of equal opportunity and admits students of any religion, race, gender preference, sexual orientation, national, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded to made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, religion, or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, athletic, or other school-administered programs.