AT TTSP, we are blessed with a strong faculty. Our teachers are committed to TTSP, to our mission, to their own professional growth, to their subject matter and, most of all, to our students. Below is a list of our faculty and their classes.
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.
Susie Chalom has been teaching in the Twin Cities community since 1970, when she taught Hebrew language and Torah at Talmud Torah of Minneapolis. Before that, she taught English in the IDF to pilots who were preparing to be trained in the United States. She trained in Second Language Acquisition and Literature at Tel Aviv University and since then has studied many other subjects always in search of deepening and expanding her knowledge of all Jewish topics.
Susie’s passion for Torah Study was ignited at the Melton Bible Training for teachers at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires and studying online with Gratz College Masters in Jewish Studies program. Her knowledge of Torah, Talmud Midrash and Halacha was deepened at Pardes Yeshiva, the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and the Shalom Hartman Institute. Her spiritual life was impacted and enriched at the Jewish Spirituality Institute after a two year course for educators. She has since then become a member of the JSI Hevraya. After serving Adath Jeshurun for 27 years as Education Director, Susie was appointed Executive Director of the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis. She served in that position for ten years until retirement in 2016.
One of her greatest passions has been Jewish High School education. She strongly believes that an excellent Jewish educaton in one’s teen years is one of the most important factors in making Jewish decisions in adult life. Susie expanded the Bet Midrash at TT Minneapolis to include HaZamir, the Adopt a Survivor Program, the Israel Fellowship program in collaboration with the JCRC and many innovative classes. She is very excited to be part of this new collaboration called the MOJU (Minnesota Online Jewish Ulpan) program of live, online Jewish and Hebrew Studies.
Susie is currently teaching Torah at Talmud Torah Minneapolis and Hebrew for adults through Hineni at JCC St. Paul. She also teaches adult classes in different venues during the school year. She loves her kind of retirement!
Mohamed El-Tayash is currently a social studies teacher at Al-Amal Islamic School in Fridley, MN. He has taught Islamic studies at Al-Amal and throughout the Muslim community in the Twin Cities for the past 15 years.
Barry Golob is the Marketing, Electronic Communications & Social Media Specialist at Beth Jacob Synagogue. He has an interest in making Judaism relevant and is fun, interesting, and charismatic. Barry enjoys connecting teens to Jewish role models. He is a familiar face in town, as he has worked with Herzl Camp, the Jewish day school and in the Jewish community for many years. He is married to Alyssa and is the proud parent of two boys.
Hebrew and Torah Teacher
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 and is a winner of a Covenant Award in Jewish education. 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 Midrasha, including in the new MOJU program of live, online Jewish and Hebrew Studies. At Talmud Torah Yosi teaches Torah, Rabbinic literature, Hebrew language and Jewish thought to grades 8-12. In addition to teaching, Yosi participates in a Jewish-Christian-Muslim text study group.
Greg Meland, now semi-retired, holds an M.A. in theological studies from Bethel Seminary, where he served on the faculty for fifteen years years as Director of Formation, Supervised Ministry and Placement. Following that, he was, Director of Spiritual and Vocational Development at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities from, 2015 to 2019. His specialties include relationships, networking, personal formation, ministry leadership, seminary internships, denominational systems, church history and architecture.
Greg is an avid bicycler and is married to Linda Rich-Meland. Together they enjoy travel, spending time in the deep forest of Northwest Wisconsin, canoeing, hiking and hanging out with friends of all ages.
Nina Samuels was the adult learning director at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka until 2016. Before that she was a family life educator at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, and also lived in Israel in 1977-79. She is an active community volunteer and enjoys her work at a local bakery.
Earl Schwartz is a member of Hamline University’s religion faculty. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Jewish life and education, including The Arc of the Covenant: Jewish Educational Success on the Upper Mississippi, a study of Jewish communal education in St. Paul.
Dr. Arie Zmora is a native of Israel and holds a BA and Phil in History and International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an M.Phil. in Early French History from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Early Modern European History from the University of Maryland College Park. Arie has taught in leading Israeli high schools: Tichon Hadash, Ohel Shem, and Tichon Herzeliyaa. Since 1994, he has taught as a visiting professor in Minnesota area colleges and universities: The University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Saint Cloud State University, Macalester College, and Hamline University. For the past ten years he has served as a program director of successive Middle East cultural exchange international programs at Hamline University. These programs have been funded by the US Department of State. Over the past two years Arie Has developed a comprehensive curricula on Jewish History which he has been teaching to growing numbers of individuals in the community; adults and high school students. Arie teaches Hebrew in the Midrasha program at Talmud Torah.