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 begin at 33 months and continue through elementary in The Newman School. Instruction is guided by an integrated curriculum in which history, literature, science, Hebrew, Torah, arts, and mathematics all inform each other. Students integrate challenges of working via technology into their exploration of ancient texts and traditions. Students who attend other schools complement their learning through the George Kaplan Afternoon SchoolandMidrasha programs (grades 2 through 12). Hineni, our Adult Learning program, offers classes which 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 Torah with them as they consider modern scientific study or historical social movements. Our students’ insights and experiences influence their future decisions and actions.
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 loves 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.