Back in 2007, two young professionals sat down with Rabbi Avi Kula of the St. Louis Kollel and began to brainstorm. They recognized the powerful potential within the young professional community and began to develop a program which would be interesting and exciting enough to get busy young men to participate during their limited free time. The product of their efforts, Torah and Turf, has blossomed into a popular league with around 50 or so young professionals involved. Torah and Turf is a product of the St. Louis Kollel, a Jewish organization dedicated to teaching and building the Jewish community of St. Louis.
One of the main objectives was to have stimulating discussions which focused on Jewish topics that interested the typical young professional. Topics ranging from issues concerning the struggles of daily life to deeper understanding behind Jewish customs and holidays were talked about in a comfortable, relaxed, and enjoyable fashion. The other focal point was to have some sort of organized sport connected to the discussion. The synthesis of these two aspects became known as Torah and Turf, our flag football league with a pregame Torah interaction. The league has taken off and developed into a well known and respected program throughout the St. Louis area. Participants love the laid back atmosphere of the Torah part of the program and are impressed with the level of play and competitiveness of the flag football games that follow.
For young pros, socializing and networking is also an integral aspect of Torah and Turf and many personal and business relationships are formed over the season that continue far beyond it. Additionally, there are a handful of events scattered throughout the off-season to maintain the feeling of camaraderie that evolves over the season. In the past, our Torah Bowl was played in the Edward Jones Dome on the turf. Unfortunately, we are in the process of finding an alternative location now.
Our Team Today
Rabbi Kula retired a few years back and the current Rabbi of Torah and Turf is Yaakov Silverman. Yaakov hails from Atlanta, GA and brings together his passion for Torah, Judaism, and football in his classes and then in the WR position on the gridiron. He enjoys drawing inspiration from sports and tying it together with Torah thought to create a powerful and succinct message that pertains to the young Jewish professional.
2007 Champions- St. Louis Kollel (Kula)
2008 Champions- Slick (Gordon)
2009 Champions- YPD Evil Eyes (Soshnick)
2010 Champions- The Mazel Toughs (Edelstein)
2011 Champions- The Hebrewsers (Babitz)
2012 Champions- The Hebrewsers (Babitz)
2013 Champions- The Green Team (Schwartz)
2014 Champions- The Green Team (Schwartz)
2015 Champions- The Green Team (Schwartz)
2016 Champions- The Green Team (Schwartz)
2017 Champions- The Green Team (Schwartz)
A program under the