"I've met new friends, we play Hebrew games, learn about Israel with our Shlicha, hear interesting Torah stories, and make cool art projects."
"Our teachers are great!"
The George Kaplan Afternoon School is the only community Jewish supplementary school in St. Paul and has no affiliation to any one Jewish movement or congregation. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and practices and live across the Twin Cities. We encourage our students to meet on the common ground of tolerance, self-respect, and the shared value of cooperation. For decades we have provided our students with quality, substantive Jewish education, and our reputation for excellence stems from graduates who have grown into local, national, and worldwide leaders.
Our elementary department teaches students from 2nd grade to 7th grade. These students attend classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00 pm.
Our program emphasizes Hebrew and the study of Jewish texts. The course of study in the early grades emphasizes Hebrew literacy. Language is the key to culture. We are the 'People of the book, and the Book,' and as our Torah is written in Hebrew, having access to origninal texts provides for a richer, more nuanced understanding of the text. We are connected to Jews across the world and in Israel and Hebrew is the language that connects us. We are a centuries old community and many of the terms for our ritual and ethical behaviors are Hebrew. The focus will be on modern Hebrew.
As students gain facility in the language, they are introduced to classical Jewish texts in the original language. Torah study at TTSP means a deep exploration of texts our people have been studying for thousands of years. These are the texts that link us to our past and to each other. They tell us where we came from and give us guidance on how we are to live in the world. There are many ways to engage with these texts: we support a literary approach, one that enables, allows, and asks readers to delve deeply, to ask questions, and to make meaning. The goal is for the learner to see his/her narrative as part of the larger Jewish narrative.