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 joined the Talmud Torah of St. Paul in 2015, as Director of Education for The Newman School, Afternoon School, and Midrasha program.
Her 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, youth group B’nai Emet Synagogue, and graduated from the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis’s Midrasha program. 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 sectors 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, as Director of Education for the “Na’aseh V’nishma” teen program, where she spent several years developing and implementing an education program for teens and their families prior to coming to the Talmud Torah of St. Paul. Heidi is also the proud parent of 4 children and 4 grandchildren.
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. He 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 the 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 the 1990 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 in the Afternoon School and Midrasha Programs. He is also a regular teacher for Hineni, TTSP’s adult education program. In addition to teaching, Yosi participates in a Jewish-Christian-Muslim text study group.
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 retired from the Hamline University religion department. 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 M.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 Ph.D. 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. From 2001 – 2013, he 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 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.