Talmud Torah of St. Paul

Where critical thinking
and Jewish values intersect

Faculty

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 Tarshish 

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, 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 (Julie), Benjie (Eugenia), Karinne (Dan), and Esther. Heidi is a very proud Baubie of wonderful twin grandsons, Oscar Sidney and Charlie Martin.

 

Faculty

 

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, earned degrees at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he graduated as a Rabbi in 1972. Yosi also 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 in 1990. Yosi served for 20 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, Rabbinic literature, Hebrew language and Jewish thought to grades 5-12. In addition to teaching, Yosi is editing a series of nine books by Noam Zion on Talmudic stories about women and participating in a Jewish-Christian-Muslim study group. His Shabbat afternoon Rashi group for Talmud Torah students has been meeting since 1979. 

 

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. Here at TTSP, Toby teaches Jewish studies and assists in facilitating our holiday programming.  In addition, she works with students one-to-one and in small groups, providing differentiated instruction and support for achieving success.

 

 

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.

 

Yossi ben Harush was born in Haifa, Israel in 1975 to an Orthodox religious family, the youngest of ten children. After he finished his military service in 1996 Yossi decided to study Graphic design and owned his own graphic design studio in Naharriya. In 2005, Yossi moved to the USA to pursue a career opportunity. He worked at Accent Signage Company as an applied technology manager for eight years. Yossi also served as the president of Kenesseth Israel Congregation between the years 2008-2010. Yossi has been a cantor for the Sephardic Minyan congregation in Saint Louis Park since 2006. Today, Yossi works as a production manager at Venture Solutions in Arden Hills. In his spare time, Yossi enjoys playing music and organizing Hebrew sing along events. Yossi has 3 daughters and lives in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.

 

Noi Maodi moved from Israel to St. Paul with his wife, Sophia, in 2016. Born in 1994 in Be'er Sheva, Noi lived most of his life in a small settlement called Yated in the south of Israel. He went to Yuvalei Habsor Elementary School and graduated from Nofei Habsor High School in 2012. Noi served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a Sergeant in the Kfir Brigade of the Infantry, and is currently a student at Saint Paul College studying Biochemistry, a caterer at D'Amico's Catering, and a tutor at Talmud Torah of St. Paul. By way of hobbies, Noi enjoys playing volleyball, swimming, hiking, camping, fishing, cooking, going to music festivals, and playing video games.