Meet our talented and dedicated administration team.
Yoni Binus, M.ED, Head of School, joined Heilicher in 2010 as the Upper School counselor. He then led the Upper School for two years as its Director before assuming the role of Head of School in 2013. In 2015, Yoni completed the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI), an AVI CHAI Foundation program at Jewish Theological Seminary preparing aspiring leaders for Jewish day school. He is a graduate of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, where he also worked after receiving his undergraduate degree at Boston University.
Yoni went back to Boston University to obtain his Master's of Education in Counseling, and he stayed on board at BU when he was offered a position as Director of Sleeper Hall, a residence for 600 Boston University freshman and sophomores. His next move was to California, where he served as boys' high school counselor at The Webb Schools, an elite boarding school in Claremont, California. Yoni then moved to Minneapolis and joined the Heilicher staff. He enjoys rooting for the Boston Red Sox, playing squash, and reading fiction, social psychology, and history books.
Maia Poling, M.ED, Associate Head of School, has taught students of varying ages since 2003. Prior to rejoining the Heilicher staff, Maia taught at The Blake School in Hopkins, MN. She has been a member of Blake's Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS) re-accreditation steering committee, and also served on Heilicher's own strategic planning task force on academic excellence. From 2008-2012, Maia taught fifth and sixth grade general studies at Heilicher. In addition to her teaching role, Maia served as the Teacher Development Coordinator, supporting and mentoring new teachers. Before making Minneapolis her home in 2008, Maia taught at the San Francisco Day School and was the Associate Director of Day School Summerbridge, a program that increased academic opportunities for highly-motivated, underserved students.
Maia graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in communication and then went on to get her Masters in Education at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. Maia lives with her husband Patrick and their two sons, Adrian and Otto, in Southwest Minneapolis.
Julie Ziessman, Harold and Mickey Smith Interim Jewish Life and Hebrew Director, earned her B.S. in Elementary Education with a Minor in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin. Julie started her career at Heilicher teaching fifth grade. After teaching fifth grade, she spent twelve years teaching kindergarten. She loves to share stories about Heilicher! In her spare time, Julie likes to spend time with family and friends. She loves to travel, and has visited many places in the U.S. as well as Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Israel, Morocco, and Russia. Julie is the proud parent of high schooler Emily and Heilicher student Zoe.
Ali Berdass, Benefit Coordinator and Advancement Associate, B.S., M.A., earned her bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Indiana University and master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Minnesota. Ali is a Heilicher graduate, parent of two Heilicher students, and has worked as a volunteer coordinator and benefit manager for the school since 2018. Ali and her husband Josh live in Minnetonka with their three girls. Ali enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the pool, and keeping busy driving kids from their many activities. While not at Heilicher or in the car, Ali can be found at Beth El Synagogue's Aleph School, where she is the Parent Chair and leader of the ECJFE/Babies and Bagels Program.
BatSheva Berman, Hebrew Coordinator, Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher, was born and raised in Israel and served in an education unit of the Israeli Army. BatSheva teaches both Hebrew Language and Limudei Kodesh in Hebrew and has pioneered a Torah study track conducted entirely in Hebrew, for which she wrote the curriculum for grades 5-7. Before coming to Heilicher she taught Hebrew Language at Torah Academy in Minneapolis for 20 years and wrote all of the holiday programs for the school. She was also in charge of the summer Hebrew program at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin for 20 years. BatSheva continues her education by taking summer classes in teaching a second language at the Karla Institute at the University of Minnesota, and taking Torah study classes in at the Pardes and Herzog Institutes in Israel.
Ryan Bradley, IT, earned his B.S. in Information Systems with a Minor in Educational Leadership and a B.S. in Cybersecurity & Information Assurance.
Jennifer Gilbertson, Front Desk Representative, joined Heilicher in 2019 as a welcoming presence at the front desk. Jen taught elementary school at several schools in the Twin Cities and most recently was a client advocate at Fraser School. She enjoys travel, reading, and summer. Jen is happily married with seven children and a beautiful Burmese mountain dog named Hamlet William Shakespeare Gilbertson.
Wendy Goldberg, Assistant Director of Jewish Life/Mashgiah Ruhani, Hebrew and Judaic Studies Teacher, is a veteran Jewish educator who joined Heilicher administration in 2017. Previously, she taught at the Talmud Torah of St. Paul Day school for seventeen years and for the past seven years served as the Director of Spiritual Engagement at Shir Tikvah Congregation. She also leads Shir Harmony, a women's acapella group dedicated to raising funds for local and Israeli women's groups, and "serenading people at meaningful moments." Educated at Brandeis University, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and at Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies, Wendy brings a depth to prayer life. She has a long history of working on issues of race and class, which will intersect with Heilicher initiatives toward social justice. Wendy is also a Christensen Interfaith Fellow at Augsburg Univeristy. Wendy is a Minneapolis native and parent of one Heilicher alumna and one current student.
Diane Greenberger, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, has been involved in Heilicher for several years as a parent, volunteer and part-time employee before taking on her current full-time role. Prior to spending several years at home with her two children, Diane was a Certified Microsoft Instructor and Project Manager for a local software training company. She also has an administrative background in several fields. Diane, her husband Martin and their children, Kalman and Lily (former and current Heilicher students), enjoy camping and family bikes rides.
Karen Hoppe, Director of Finance, grew up in Bemidji, Minnesota and has spent the past 26 years in Minneapolis. She earned her BA in Business Management from Bethel College and her Executive MBA from the University of St Thomas. Karen has served in various finance leadership roles in the non-profit sector; most recently as the Vice President, Finance & Operations for the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter (Association) where she was responsible for operations, finance, and HR functions as well as oversight of internal IT operations. Prior to joining the management team at the Association, Karen was the controller and the CFO at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation for 12 years. Karen and her husband Steve reside in Minnetonka and have a married daughter. In her spare time, Karen enjoys playing piano, spending time with her husband, doing gardening, and taking long walks. Karen is excited to begin working closely with the faculty and leadership team at Heilicher.
Liz Kaplan, Head Chef, studied at culinary school in Vancouver, Canada, and then spent three years cooking in Italy. Before coming to Heilicher, she was the Executive Sous Chef at Lucia’s in Uptown Minneapolis for four years. She lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, who is also a chef, and their young children. Liz spends her free time in the backyard with her family tending to the vegetable garden and raising chickens.
N. Melegari (Mel) Newman, Registrar/Admissions Systems Director, earned her B.S. in Communication Arts with a Major in Theater & Dance and a Minor in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Mel came to Heilicher because she feels that facilitating the education of children (our future) is important and rewarding. Mel and her husband, Scott, have three children and have hosted several exchange students from Brazil and Germany. In her non-school time, she sings in the praise-and-worship band her husband leads, watches her children’s sporting events and travels. She highly values the cross-spiritual enlightenment she gains by working within this community.
Katie Ruff, School Nurse and COVID Coordinator, earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of St. Catherine. She was born and raised in Minneapolis but was drawn to Colorado where she met her husband and raised their children. Her nursing career has provided the opportunity to work in many areas of the health field. These areas include pediatrics, Infection Prevention and most recently, working in the Covid Unit at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Katie returned to Minneapolis to be near her large family. When not at work, Katie enjoys baking and working out so she can bake more. She also enjoys outdoor winter and summer activities, gardening and crafts.
Evelyn Sadlowski, Total Distance Learning Program Coordinator, holds a B.S. in Elementary Education-Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Evelyn also has a Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence Teaching License from the UW-Madison School Of Education and a Short-Call Substitute Teaching License from the state of Minnesota.
Evelyn loves lakes, warm weather, her cat Willow, and being outside. Her favorite place in the whole world is the Terrace in Madison. She also enjoys visiting her family and friends back home in Madison, WI. In addition to working at Heilicher, Evelyn has enjoyed being a part of the Camp Olami community since 2018.
Don Schlueter, CPA (inactive), Controller, grew up in the Washington, DC area and has lived in the Twin Cities metro since 1978. He earned his BBA in accounting from Loyola University in Chicago. Don started in public accounting as an auditor and has held financial positions with various non-profit and for profit companies. Don and his wife Julie live in Maple Grove and have two sons (one on each coast) and two grandsons. In his spare time, Don enjoys reading, being an avid sports fan, and working on a model of the USS Constitution.
Louise Schoenberger, Admissions and Marketing Director, earned her B.A. in Psychology from University of Michigan. Louise oversees Heilicher's admissions and marketing departments and works directly with prospective parents to connect them to the Heilicher community. Louise's background is in recruiting, operations, and sales. Louise, her husband, Steven, and their four children live in St. Louis Park. Their children are current Heilicher students.
Michael Simon, Database Manager, earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada with a major in Business Management and double minors in Marketing and Business Administration. Prior to joining Heilicher, Michael was the operations manager at a local health care IT consulting firm where he handled database management, onboarding and offboarding staff, contracting, payroll, and vendor relations. Michael and his husband Rabbi Michael Latz have two children, Noa and Liat. As one of the three Rebbitzmen at Shir Tikvah, Michael is very active within the Twin Cities Jewish Community. If he’s not at Heilicher or driving his kids around town, you'll find him at services, schmoozing, or celebrating simchas at Shir Tikvah.
Rebecca Skelton, MPA, Institutional Advancement Director, earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and her MPA from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining Heilicher, Rebecca served as the Director of Community Development for the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, overseeing the Federation’s allocations, strategic planning, and research activities. Prior to relocating to Minnesota in 1997, Rebecca served as Legislative Director for the Union of Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, where she advocated on a wide range of federal policy issues and created the Reform Jewish Movement’s first grassroots, state policy structure. She also served as the Washington Representative of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, working with Members of Congress and the Executive Branch on policy and funding issues of importance to Chicago area Jewish agencies and institutions. Rebecca also has worked as a Legislative Assistant with the CJF-Washington Action Office. Rebecca is married to Shepard Harris, a lobbyist with the law firm of Fredrikson and Byron and the mayor of Golden Valley. They have three children, one of whom is a current student at Heilicher.
Christine Yussen, M.ED, Education Director-Student Services, earned her B.S. in Foundations of Education and her M.ED in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota. Christine joined the Heilicher faculty in 2005. Education continues to be a career of passion rather simply a job. She enjoys getting to know each student individually and helping them reach goals. Christine is a native of the Twin Cities and enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing the trombone, being active around the city lakes and neighborhoods, and gardening. She enjoys engaging in curricular conversations by serving on the Heilicher Academic Council team.