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 to 1903.

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

Beth Jacob

Chevra B’nai Ya’akov’s second building

Sons of Jacob

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

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

During the late 1950s, while still an Orthodox synagogue, Sons of Jacob liberalized some of its 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, the building was sold to a church.

A merger was considered with Agadath Israel (Orthodox) or Temple of Aaron (Conservative), but the congregation decided against it.

Songs of Jacob rented a space at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center.

In 1984, Sons of Jacob merged with New Conservative Congregation, which was 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.

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

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

Beth Jacob of St Paul, Minnesota

Beth Jacob of St Paul, Minnesota


Samantha Silver is curator for this Chevra B’nai Ya’akov/Beth Jacob exhibit.