By Leib Tropper
Standing for more than a century, Staten Island-based Rabbi Jacob Joseph School has a reputation for a stringent curriculum. The school educates young students in Orthodox Jewish tradition from nursery school age to 12th grade. Among these students and their teachers have been the brothers of the Tropper family, including alumnus Rabbi Leib Tropper and his father, Rabbi Yehuda Tropper, who taught at the school for three decades.
The school was named for Jacob Joseph, who served as the chief rabbi of the Association of American Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in New York City from 1888 to the mid-1890s. A girls’ division of the elementary school opened after its move to the Staten Island Richmondtown in 1976, with a boys’ high school and Beis Medrash (an undergraduate level of study).
During the mid-20th century, Rabbi Jacob Joseph School produced myriad community leaders and rabbis in the area, and became an important feeder school to the Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. It was during this time that Rabbi Leib Tropper’s father instructed first graders and later saw his own son excel in the elementary school.