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, 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, as well as granddaughter, Avital Mori. Heidi is excited and proud to be celebrating her fifth year at TTSP, including the Newman School.
Jayce Koester is a Jewish professional and educator living in Minneapolis. They serve as program coordinator for J-Pride at JFCS, and will be starting as a student hospital chaplain at Abbott Northwestern this fall through spring. Jayce loves Talmud and Torah study, walking in Powderhorn Park with their loved ones, and singing with Ilu Finu – a song circle they co-facilitate.
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 will be teaching Bet and Gimmel Hebrew at Talmud Torah of St. Paul’s Afternoon School. By way of hobbies, Noi enjoys playing volleyball, swimming, hiking, camping, fishing, cooking, going to music festivals, and playing video games.
Toby Saide Meirovitz is a Midrasha graduate of Talmud Torah of St. Paul. As a child of Holocaust survivors, she grew up in a home filled with yiddishkeit, one of memorable Jewish sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. At the University of Minnesota, she earned a BS in sociology as well as several graduate credits in industrial relations, resulting in a career in HR management. Subsequently, her passion shifted to education, first working as a substitute teacher, then as a special education paraprofessional in ISD 197 where she continues to work in the high school. She took courses in teaching methods at St. Catherine’s University and participated in various professional development opportunities. Toby was recruited by TTSP to provide differentiated instruction, both one-on-one and in small groups. She now teaches beginning Hebrew and Jewish studies, continuing to support each student’s individual needs. She strives to design engaging and meaningful classes while fostering each child’s success in a nurturing, yet spirited environment. Outside of work, Toby especially enjoys time with her family, surrounded by much love and laughter.
Jordyn Whitman (she/her pronouns) is a new teacher at Talmud Torah this year. She will be helping out with a variety of things such as one-on-one learning, helping in the classroom, and most excitingly, teaching about the Torah through the outdoors. She will be leading students on once monthly excursions to learn about Judaism in a place-based and experiential setting. She will lead activities like wilderness nature walks, building our own sukkot, and learning about the relationship between Jews in the Torah and the land.