The journey towards adulthood is a rich time of exploration. It’s a time to explore one’s Jewish identity and to begin the lifelong process of discovering and forming one’s values and beliefs. Talmud Torah of St. Paul’s (TTSP) Afternoon School and Midrasha programs are devoted to providing the time, space, support, and resources necessary for children and teens to focus on this important task of exploration and strengthening of Jewish identity.
TTSP’s Afternoon School program is offered twice weekly for students in grades 2-8 as an opportunity to expand their knowledge of Judaism and the Hebrew language. Within this welcoming and inclusive setting, students come together from across the spectrum of Jewish affiliation to learn and grow together. As they gain competence in the Hebrew language, they are introduced to classical Jewish texts in their original language. This deep exploration of Torah and other seminal Jewish texts from history serve to link students not just to our past, but also to each other as they grapple with interpretation, meaning, and relevancy. The goal is for the learner to see how his or her story plays an essential role in the evolving story of the Jewish people as well as how that evolving story impacts their own lives and choices. In addition to studying and learning, TTSP students enjoy celebrating Jewish holidays, developing lasting friendships with peers and teachers, and participating in social justice projects and community outreach events.
TTSP also offers an in-depth course of study for high school students. This program, called Midrasha, offers high school students the opportunity to take classes in Hebrew language as well as a range of other Jewish subjects. Midrasha Hebrew classes can be taken for high school or college credit through the University of Minnesota CIS (College-in-the-Schools) program. Students can also elect for an Independent Study track that allows for the convenience of a flexible schedule and location. Each year, Midrasha students also participate in a community-sponsored program called TRI-2 which gathers Jewish teens from across St. Paul for a trimester of Jewish learning and community-building. All Midrasha students are guided by expert teachers who provide ongoing support, encouragement, and feedback.
Rabbi Hillel once said, “Do not say ‘when I am free I will study’, for perhaps you will not become free.”
When he couldn’t afford the fees of his local school, he would climb onto the roof and listen to lessons through an open window, even during the harshest winter months. He recognized that no obstacle is insurmountable to someone who truly wishes to learn. TTSP embraces Rabbi Hillel’s philosophy. It is a true community school, welcoming to all who wish to learn, regardless of religious background, affiliation with a synagogue, or ability to pay. This year, even if your child’s schedule is already busy, perhaps the time is right to make room for Jewish learning.
For more information about Talmud Torah of St. Paul’s supplemental Jewish education programs (Afternoon School and Midrasha), please visit ttsp.org, call (651)698-8807, or email the Director of Education at [email protected].
This article is sponsored content provided by Talmud Torah of St. Paul in conjunction with a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul.