As the number of Jewish pupils rose the capacity of the school building in the former Dritte Elbstraße became unable to accommodate them all. In 1848 the school roll was 200, and by 1857 it had risen to 230.
In 1851 the board of the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeinde in Hamburg (German Israelite Community in Hamburg) resolved to utilize the estate left to it by the Hamburg mayor Christian Daniel Benecke for the construction of a new school building.
After examining various projects it was agreed to make use of a section of the site chosen for the building of a new synagogue. A small section of the site was to be built upon, and the community allowed an adjoining area to be used as a playground and athletics ground. The school building that continued to be officially called the Israelitische Armenschule Talmud Tora (Israelite Charity School Talmud Torah) was, as was the later synagogue, built by the Jewish architect A. Rosengarten, at No. 20 Kohlhöfen, and officially opened in 1857. It comprised, in addition to the Pedell's/janitor's flat, and four rooms on the ground-floor, one being a prayer room, twelve high-ceilinged rooms each with three large windows.
The subject matter of the school was constantly extended and approximated to that of a secondary (Bürger) school. In 1850 Chief Rabbi Anschel Stern succeeded Chachan Isaac Bernays (1792-1849) as Ephorus of the school, and at the end of 1868 he reorganized the school into a three year primary and six year secondary school (Realschule). At the same time he established a Selekta (special class) to prepare pupils for the awarding of the Einjährigenschein, (comparable to the first public examination in secondary schools; English O-Levels). In 1869 the school received the authorization from the Hamburg Education Authority to award the Einjährigenschein and was allowed to assume the status of Realschule i.e. a secondary school taking pupils from the age of 10 to 16. It officially assumed the title of Realschule in 1892. Prior to this it had been called Höhere Bürgerschule.
The continuous increase in the school roll necessitated the building of an extension, in the southern part of the school grounds, which was opened in 1972, at No. 19 Kohlhöfen. Finally, in 1911, the school was transferred to a new building at No. 30 Grindelhof, in the district of Rotherbaum. The number of Freischüler (non-fee paying pupils) remained much higher at the Israelitische Armenschule Talmud Tora (Israelite Charity School Talmud Torah) than at the Israelitische Freischule. In 1889 42% of all pupils were non-fee paying. Non-community members were accepted as fee-paying pupils. 34% of all pupils were non-community members.
The Jewish religion was the common bond between the pupils from different social strata. Occasionally there were conflicts; in 1900 for example a boy was refused admittance as, his mother being a member of the Tempelverband (Temple Association), the community did not accept him as being Jewish. The strict emphasis on providing a Jewish education that this school maintained made it difficult to adjust to later conflicts.
In a publication in 1906 the Hamburg Jew Gustav G. Cohen described the process leading
a Jewish family to Christian baptism:
In 1871 of a total of 2,462 Jewish school children 900 attended Jewish religious schools, 843 attended schools whose roll was at least one-fifth Jewish, the rest attended state secondary schools or private schools. Thirty years later the attendance of Jewish pupils at state schools had further increased.
German text: Dipl.-Pol. Wilhelm Mosel, Deutsch-Jüdische Gesellschaft, Hamburg.