Community Values

Valuing Each Other

Beth Jacob is both a close knit community and a community that is welcoming to others, a community accessible to all. We are an egalitarian community, where women and men, rich and poor, gay and straight are valued equally and sincerely. We are an intergenerational community, where young and old find commonality with each another. We are an eclectic community, where each person’s story is valued and affirmed. We are an affirming community, committed to ensuring that each person understands the right to claim the inheritance of Jewish tradition. We are an honest community, where intellectual inquiry and spiritual search go hand in hand. We are a welcoming community, where visitors can walk in the door and discover a home, a family, and a place at a table for Shabbat. We are a modest community, where festive celebrations are neither ostentatious nor exclusive. This is a shul where people truly care about each other and are present to help each other through the good times and bad. Through the ongoing Adult B’nei Mitzvah classes, through personalized conversion study with Rabbi Allen, people have been able to find their way both into Judaism and back into Judaism.

Valuing Participation

Beth Jacob is a place for people who want to be actively involved in their shul. In truth, our shul works best for people who show up. Although there is never any pressure to do so, on any given Shabbat any number of people can be found leading services, reading Torah and Haftarah. During any given week, people are serving on committees, volunteering at the office or working in the kitchen. The opportunity to learn more and take on new roles is always available. Beth Jacob understands that religious expectations emerge from a sense of communal belonging.

Valuing Social Justice

Beth Jacob is a congregation passionate about social justice, active in causes ranging from the long standing work of helping the homeless at Dorothy Day Center to our newest undertaking, Hekhsher Tzedek, ensuring that Jewish ethics are a part of kashrut observance.

Valuing Youth

Beth Jacob is a community committed to its youth. Young people take their places leading services and reading Torah and Haftorah as well as participating in various tikkun olam programs. There are numerous children’s activities throughout the year from shul programs, local outings, Kadima and USY Kinnus, Jewish camps, to Israel trips. At different times during the year there are services led by kids from preschool through high school. One of the best sights each Shabbat is seeing all the little children on the Bimah at the end of services greeting their rabbi and singing Adom Olam.

Valuing World Jewry

Beth Jacob understands that all Jews are responsible one for the other. We pride ourselves on connecting with the stories of Jews around the world and seeing ourselves as sharing in the responsibility for its continued health. We encourage our community to seriously engage with Israel, through travel, through study and through open discussion. We support efforts in the community to sustain other communal institutions, be it the St Paul Talmud Torah, the Jewish community Center, Jewish family Service or the United Jewish Fund and Council. St Paul might be our home community, but it serves only as a base for furthering the connection to world Jewry.

If you are interested in more information about Beth Jacob, or know someone you think is considering membership, please contact Rabbi Morris Allen at or Sean Murphy at or (651) 452-2226.

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