Chevra B’nai Ya’akov/Beth Jacob of St. Paul, Minnesota

Chevra B’nai Ya’akov/Beth Jacob of St. Paul, Minnesota


Chevra B’nai Ya’akov, the “Polish Shul,” was founded in 1875.

The members met in many locations until 1881, when the first building was constructed on College Avenue between Wabasha and St. Peter.

In 1888, due to their growing community, they built a new synagogue on the same site.

It accommodated 600 people.

Rabbi Jacob Aronsohn served the congregation from 1888-1903.

Beth Jacob

Chevra B’nai Ya’akov’s second building

During the 1930s, Chevra B’nai Ya’akov moved to Selby and Summit.


Sons of Jacob

In 1946, Chevra B’nai Ya’akov merged with the Hebrew Seminary Congregation and anglicized their name to Sons of Jacob Congregation.

In 1947, they built a new structure at 1466 Portland.

During the late 1950s, while still an Orthodox synagogue, Sons of Jacob liberalized some of their practices, such as allowing men and women to sit together in the sanctuary.

As the community changed, the congregation of Sons of Jacob dwindled.

In 1982, they sold their building to a church.

They considered merging with Agadath Israel (Orthodox) or Temple of Aaron (Conservative), but decided against it.

They rented space at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center

In 1984, Sons of Jacob merged with New Conservative Congregation, who were also meeting at the St. Paul JCC.

Together they formed the Beth Jacob Congregation, which identified with the Conservative movement.

Rabbi Morris Allen was installed in 1987 and continues to lead Beth Jacob.


Beth Jacob

Beth Jacob moved into its new building in Mendota Heights in 1988.

Beth Jacob of St Paul, Minnesota

Beth Jacob of St Paul, Minnesota

In 2012, Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman became the Assistant Rabbi of Beth Jacob.

She was the first Conservative woman Rabbi in the Twin Cities.



Plaut, W. Gunther.  The Jews in Minnesota: the first seventy five years. New York: American Jewish Historical Society, 1959.


Samantha Silver is curator for this Exhibit.

Older pictures of the synagogue, artifacts, etc. would be appreciated.