Mount Zion: Minnesota's First Jewish Temple

Authored by Dani Rader

Jewish presence in Minnesota predates the founding of the state. This exhibit outlines the storied history of Minnesota’s first Jewish synagogue, Mount Zion Temple and its congregants. Since its founding in 1856 and legal incorporation by the Minnesota territory in 1857, Mount Zion has been an important marker of Jewish presence in Minnesota, particularly in the city of Saint Paul. This exhibit explores the development of the congregation and the ways in which the Jews of Mount Zion have adapted to shifting social, economic, and political conditions, modeled progressive Jewish leadership, and engaged with the wider Minnesota community. To learn about Mount Zion’s history, Jewish place-making and settlement in Minnesota, and Mount Zion's social justice work over the centuries, click through the following pages.