Talmud Torah of St. Paul

Where critical thinking
and Jewish values intersect


For the full flyer of classes and teachers, click here. To register, click here.

- The Making of the State of Israel: Zionism and the Road to the Establishment of the State of Israel, 1880 – 1948

Taught by Dr. Arie Zmora

What was the Zionist movement? Who were the leaders? How did their ideas inspire the movement? What was the Balfour Declaration and how did it provide the foundation for the establishment of the State of Israel? What were the two large political camps and who were their leaders? These questions and so many more will be explored and answered in this class. The class will follow in the footsteps of the pioneers of the first and second aliyot, who came to the land of Eretz Israel in the 19th early 20th centuries and founded private and collective agrarian villages. We will learn about the formation of Hebrew culture, biblical connections to the land, the tensions and violent clashes between Jews and Arabs and the social and political implications on the road to the foundation of the land of Israel, as well as the impact of the Holocaust on world public opinion.


- How Did We Get Here?  Turning Points in Twin Cities Jewish History

Taught by Earl Schwartz (curriculum co-authored by Earl Schwartz and Nina Samuels)

In this course we explore three episodes from the past 100 years of Twin Cities Jewish history that illustrate and illuminate how we've come to be the communities we are today. Among the topics we explore are how Jewish neighborhoods have grown and disappeared, the development of communal educational institutions, and how membership in the community has been defined. Our goal is to better understand what local Jewish history teaches us about sustaining Jewish life, in community, in a time of profound change.


- What Does Samuel Have to Say About... Scandal, Power, Sex, and Massive Corruption?

Taught by Rabbi Yosi Gordon

The greatest political novel ever written is the biblical book of Samuel. We will study the political stories in Samuel and, as we go, read articles from today's newspapers that can be understood from the teachings of Samuel. What does Samuel have to say about war, poverty, power, political lying, betraying one's own values, fake news, involving family in government, scandals, murder, power-and-sex and massive corruption? How can we use ancient insights to bring modern issues to light? All thoughtful opinions, civilly discussed, will be welcomed with respect.


- Judaism and Science… Science and Judaism... through a Jewish Lens - Part Two

Taught by Barry Golob

I want to know God’s thoughts… the rest is details.” - Albert Einstein

In this course, we will look at different scientific issues. Science is concerned with things we CAN do, but as Jews, we want to know what we SHOULD do. Looking at these issues through a Jewish lens may change our mind about the way think and look at things. Ethical dilemmas.


- Jewish Text-Art Mash-Up

Taught by Eva Rose Cohen

Do you like visual art? Do you like words? Are you excited about creating word-based art? We will be making visual art incorporating Jewish quotations in a variety of 2-D and 3-D media, taking our inspiration from diverse contemporary and historical sources ranging from magnetic poetry, memes, zines, and sculpture to illuminated manuscripts, ketubot, and micrographic art.