Our Afternoon School teachers are committed to TTSP, to our mission, to their own professional growth, to their subject matter, and most of all to our students.
Director of Education
Heidi’s journey into Jewish education was fostered by her close relationship with her grandparents and parents who lived Jewish values and practiced Jewish ethics. A native of Minnesota, Heidi grew up in St. Louis Park, participated in Jewish life, attended Jewish camps, graduated Beit HaMidrash at Talmud Torah of Minneapolis, attended B’nai Emet Synagogue, and youth group. Interested in theater, education and Jewish studies, Heidi attended the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in both theater arts and Jewish Studies. Heidi taught in both the public and private sector before going back to the U of MN to receive a certificate in early childhood and kindergarten education. Heidi traveled extensively as a recipient of the Mann Teacher of the Year Award and the National Grinspoon-Steinhardt Educator Award. Her travels took her to Lithuania, Russia, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, and Israel to learn about Jewish diversity, culture, and history. Heidi’s interest and passion for social justice, inclusion, and diversity brought her to Temple Israel where she spent several years developing and implementing an education program for teens and their families. Heidi is married to Sully Tarshish and they are the proud parents of 4 adult children; Ethan, Benjie, Karinne and Esther. Ethan is married to Julie and they are the proud parents of her wonderful twin grandsons, Oscar Sidney and Charlie Martin. Karinne is married to Dan. Benjie is soon to be married to Eugenia.
Rabbi Yosi Gordon has been teaching since 1957 and has been teaching at Talmud Torah of St. Paul since 1978. Before joining Talmud Torah of St. Paul, he attended Camp Ramah for fourteen summers, as a camper and staff member, and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for three years. Rabbi Gordon worked as Associate and Acting Principal of the Los Angeles Hebrew High School. In 1978 he came to St. Paul, where he directed Talmud Torah of St. Paul for twelve years and helped found Talmud Torah of St. Paul Day School. He taught courses in Jewish studies and literature at the University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College and Hamline University. He has also published textbooks and articles in Hebrew language and Jewish studies. In 2000, Yosi won a Covenant Award in Jewish education. Yosi served for eighteen years as rabbi at Temple Sholom in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he was known as the Chief Rabbi of the Chippewa Valley. He is now teaching at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul Afternoon School and Midrasha. At Talmud Torah Yosi teaches Torah, Hebrew language and Jewish thought to grades 6-12.
Toby Saide Meirovitz is a Midrasha graduate of Talmud Torah of St. Paul. Toby received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota with a major in sociology. After many years in human resources management, she made a career change into education, first as a substitute teacher, then as a special education paraprofessional in ISD 197 where she continues to work. As a TTSP teacher, Toby teaches Jewish holidays and facilitates some holiday programming. In addition, she works with students one-to-one and in small groups, providing differentiated instruction and support for achieving success.
Eva Rose Cohen received a BA in anthropology and visual art from Brown University in 2009. Since 2012 she has served as school director for the Jewish Cultural School at Or Emet: MN Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, as well as a 4th-7th grade teacher in this monthly school and a co-leader of its bar/bat mitzvah program. Eva's past experience includes developing and implementing a multicultural literacy curriculum for the after-school setting as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Camp Fire USA MN Counsel, and two school years' work as an SES tutor in Twin Cities public schools. Eva also currently works as a patient educator and medical actor, helping to train health professionals at the University of Minnesota and other institutions, and is a practicing artist who enjoys incorporating art in the classroom.
Gabriel Ciuraru graduated from Talmud Torah of St. Paul when he was 18 years old. He moved to live in Israel for 4 years on a gap year program and eventually to join the IDF as a tank driver. He has worked at the Talmud Torah in St. Paul for 3 years as a Hebrew tutor and teacher since returning from his experience abroad. He is currently in his last semester as a Political Science major at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.
Sara Lynn Newberger (BS, University of Illinois; MA, Brandeis University, Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service and Education; Jerusalem Fellow) moved to St. Paul in 1989 to work at the Talmud Torah’s Day School because the mission and vision resonated with her soul. At TTSP, Sara Lynn has had many jobs. Her favorite is what she is doing now, exploring Jewish texts, customs, values and ideas with students. Sara Lynn is the director of TTSP’s Hineni: Adult Jewish Leraning and Contemplative Practices. She believes passionately in the importance of Jewish learning and the impact it can have on people’s lives. When not working, Sara Lynn enjoys cooking, visiting with friends, singing, and being outdoors.
Sofya Barth enjoys teaching and developing exciting and engaging curriculum. Being both Jewish and Israeli, she loves to educate and enlighten anyone interested in Hebrew and Israeli culture. The past three years she has been working at Lakes International Language Academy teaching Chinese and Spanish. This year will be her third year working at Talmud Torah of St. Paul and her second year teaching a CIS course. In addition to her work as a Hebrew teacher Sofya is currently working on a Master's of Elementary Education degree. She is also a professional photographer. Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2012, Sofya lived in China for four years studying Mandarin and earning a Master’s Degree in International Chinese Education from Yunnan Normal University in Kunming, China. She taught English to native Chinese students. Sofya is fluent in Mandarin, English, Hebrew, Russian, and advanced Spanish. She has traveled extensively to many countries all around the world experiencing a variety of educational systems and cultures. Throughout all of her experiences Sofya has always loved teaching children foreign languages.