Afternoon School Faculty
The Afternoon School faculty are experts in their subjects, with teaching experience ranging from 5 years to 60 years. They are committed to TTSP, our mission, and most of all to our students. Read more about our incredible faculty and the subjects they teach.
Director of Midrasha
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, in Israel, she taught English in the IDF to pilots who were preparing to be trained in the United States.
She trained in Linguistics/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.
Her love 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 Whizen Institute, American Jewish U, and at summers spent at Pardes Yeshiva, the Conservative Yeshiva and the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
Her spiritual life was impacted and enriched at the Jewish Spirituality Institute after a two year course for teen 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.
After spending that first summer as a retired teacher, Susie rejoined the TT of Minneapolis to teach a Torah class she had designed with one of the teachers who unfortunately, passed away unexpectedly, before school started. She has remained at TT Mpls until this past year, teaching 5th and 6th grade Torah, Tanach and Jewish studies.
One of her greatest passions has been Jewish High school education. She strongly believes that an excellent Jewish education in one’s teen years is one of the most important factors in making Jewish decisions in adult life. High school Jewish education also strengthens a Jewish community’s foundation by providing enlightened leadership and educators in the future.
During her tenure as Head of School at TT Minneapolis, Susie brought transformative changes to the Bet Midrash fostering innovative programs such as HaZamir, the Adopt a Survivor Program, the Israel Fellowship program in collaboration with the JCRC and Jewish Krav Mega and many other innovative classes.
Susie is currently teaching the Hebrew classes for adults at Hineini and often teaches Parshat HaShavua adult classes at Adath Jeshurun.
She is very excited to join Talmud Torah St Paul as the new Director of the Afternoon school and the Midrasha and is looking forward to applying her dedication, creativity and commitment to excellence to the Afternoon School and to the Midrasha.
Beyond her professional life, Susie is a proud mother to Allon and Orlee Tatarka and takes immense pride in her role as “Sassa” to Stella, Caleb and Asher.
She is really enjoying her “retirement”!
Afternoon School Hebrew & Torah Teacher
Nathelie earned her bachelor’s in English Language Arts, Linguistics, and ESL at Oranim, and her M.A. in Hebrew as a Second Language and Education from Middlebury College.
In the past, she has taught CIS classes, adult classes, and aleph Hebrew and Torah classes for Talmud Torah, so she is no stranger to the Talmud Torah family.
She currently teaches ESL full-time at Prodeo Academy.
Nathelie is fluent in Hebrew and has lived in Israel for 20 years, where she taught English as a Second Language. She is passionate about Israel and Hebrew and continues her education in Torah studies. She has three daughters and enjoys traveling, music, and spending time with family.
Sharon de Koning
Afternoon School Hebrew Teacher
Sharon de Koning was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, and currently lives in Austin, Texas.
Sharon has been teaching Hebrew for over ten years and enjoys every moment of it! “When my students start a dialogue, tell a joke, or mumble “Hatikvah”, I shed a tear,” She says.
Through fascinating stories, songs, and games she hopes to reach the hearts of her students and impart to them a knowledge and love of the language. Sharon is also a believer in technology for educational purposes and thinks that each kid should benefit from the endless possibilities that the web has to offer for language learning.
Outside of teaching her hobbies include languages, reading, traveling, and meeting new people.
Toby Saide Meirovitz
Afternoon School Hebrew & Torah Teacher
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.
Toby has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology as well as several graduate credits in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota. She started her 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 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.
Rabbi Yosi Gordon
Afternoon School Torah Teacher; Midrasha Hebrew, Torah, and Elective Instructor
Rabbi Yosi Gordon has been teaching since 1957 and working at Talmud Torah of St. Paul since 1978. He attended Camp Ramah for fourteen summers and earned degrees at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was ordained as a Rabbi in 1972. He 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 and came to Talmud Torah to serve as Executive Director for 12 years. During those years the Talmud Torah opened the day school, moved to its current location, and expanded in many educational areas. In 1990, Yosi returned to full-time teaching.
Over the many years, Yosi has 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 was 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 Afternoon School and Midrasha.
At Talmud Torah, Yosi teaches Torah, Rabbinic literature, Hebrew language, contemporary Jewish issues, and Jewish thought. He is also a frequent teacher for Hineni, TTSP’s adult education program. In addition to teaching, Yosi founded and participates in a Jewish-Christian-Muslim text study group, and is a regular participant in the Rabbinic Torah Study program of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
Midrasha Elective Instructor
Nina Samuels has an MA in Adult and Continuing Education and Community Development from the University of Michigan. She lived in Israel for nearly two years, worked at the University of Minnesota in Continuing Education and Extension, and was a family life educator at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis before serving as the adult learning director at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka until 2016. She is an active community volunteer and enjoys her work at a local bakery.
Midrasha Elective Instructor
Earl Schwartz began teaching at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul in the fall of 1976. He is retired from the Hamline University religion department, where he also served as director of the social justice studies program. 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.