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ORT Tallinn Jewish School

Tallinn Jewish Gymnasium opened in 1924, and operated until September 1941 when it was closed by the local authorities. It re-opened in 1990, and now functions as a state municipal school with compulsory study of Jewish subjects. The school became part of the World ORT network in 2008.

Name of School ORT Tallinn Jewish School
Location Tallinn/Estonia
Age range Elementary, Junior High, High School
Students 383
Teachers 37

Jewish Education

Study of the culture, language, history and traditions of the Jewish people lays the foundation for students' Jewish identity at Tallinn Jewish School, and serves as the basis for a wider system of values and spirituality. Lessons on Estonian history, language and literature are structured by addressing themes common to all humanity, thereby establishing links between the two cultures.

At the end of 9th and 11th grade, students take exams in their Jewish studies, the results of which are entered on their school-leaving diplomas.

Hebrew is studied from the 1st to the 8th grade for 3 hours per week. The Tal-AM program is used in the 1st - 8th  grades; in the 9th - 12th  grades students study Hebrew as optional course. 

Students from the 1st through to 8th grade study the traditions of the Jewish people in close connection with events in the Jewish calendar. From the 5th grade and up students learn the history of the Jewish people and in the senior grades much attention is devoted to research for Masa Shorashim project work. Jewish literature is also incorporated in to the curriculum for different grades and there is an optional bar/batmitzvah course for the 7th grade.

Informal Jewish Activities in school

  • The school runs a Jewish vocal ensemble and a Jewish fine arts society. Watch recent performance here 
  • Hebrew theatre is available for the 3rd  – 5th  grades at the school
  • Every week students participate in “Lessons of Shabbat”, in which they discuss moral issues, Jewish commandments and traditions. Lessons involve drama, games, music and familiar Shabbat rituals.

Technology Education

Extracurricular activities

A number of clubs and optional courses run at the school:

  • A very popular chess club for students from the 1st to the 4th grade, led by an international chess master;
  • Dance club for students of the 1st - 6th grades and the 7th - 12th grades;
  • Karate sports club for students of the 1st - 3rd grades;
  • Robotics club for the 1st-9th grades students to prepare for participating in different Robotics competitions;
  • Hebrew club runs for those students who moved from other schools and for those who want to upgrade their language level;
  • Artistic club where students make works within the frame of preparing for Jewish holidays.
  • Photo-video club for students in the 6th-8th grades.
  • English language circle IELTS preparation course for the 11th grade students.

Contribution to the National Educational System

  • In 2015 school students received the Estonia President’s Award for their research work “Estonia during the Second WW” regarding the Holocaust in Estonia;
  • In 2015 two school students finished the school with “Gold medals”;
  • In 2015 school student Mark Stambler received gratitude from the Estonian Union of NATO for participation in the conference and report dedicated to the memory of the victims of Holocaust in Estonia.
  • In 2016 four students finished the school with “Silver medals”;
  • In 2017 five students finished the school with “Gold medals”.