Batsheva Berman, Hebrew Language Coordinator/Grades 5, 7, and 8 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 Holy Studies/Limudei Kodesh/לימודי קודש 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 Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota and taking Torah study classes at the Pardes and Herzog Institutes in Israel.
Sara Wolk Bernstein, M.A.Ed., Grade 3 Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher, grew up in Minneapolis and has been on faculty at Heilicher since 1992. She earned a B.A. in theater with a minor in Hebrew from the University of Minnesota. She attended the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (now called the American Jewish University) for graduate school, where she earned a graduate degree in education and administration with additional credits equal to a second bachelor's degree in Jewish Studies. Before returning to the Twin Cities, Sara held positions with the Jewish Community Centers Association of Greater Los Angeles, LA Unified Public Schools, and the LA Bureau of Jewish Education. She has traveled to Israel many times, including as a chaperone/leader for high school educational touring programs. During her years at Heilicher, she has continued her own learning in areas of foreign language learning, special education, multiple intelligences, curriculum design, and instructional differentiation. She has held numerous positions during her tenure, including Assistant Principal, Director of Judaic Studies, and Hebrew Resource Coordinator. Her favorite position is that of classroom teacher!
Maayan Bahar, Bat Sherut, is thrilled to come to the Twin Cities and engage with the community. She was raised in Italy and Moshav Nov in the Golan, Israel. Maayan recently finished serving in an elementary school in Natanya, Israel, and was also the rosh snif (chapter head) of the local Bnei Akiva youth group.
Ariel Brudoley, Grades 6-7 Jewish Studies Teacher, studied in Yeshiva University and the Rabbinical College of America, where he earned a B.A. in Talmudic studies. He first realized his love for teaching at Camp Moshava, Wild Rose. His education endeavors include working for several synagogues as a Bar Mitzvah tutor, teaching for the Oholei Menachem Cheder of Kansas, and serving as the Director of Jewish Education on the NCSY Kansas City chapter board. He is working toward rabbinical ordination and an M.A. in Jewish education from Yeshiva University. He is also currently teaching for the Jewish Learning Network. Ariel has the joy of being married to his wife, Shira, and currently lives in St. Louis Park. He enjoys spending time with family, playing piano, and delving into the mysteries of the universe.
Simcha Cohen, Grade 6 Hebrew Teacher, has a background as a Jewish experiential educator. He worked for 8.5 years at Gann Academy in Boston first as the Jewish and Student Life Program Coordinator and then the Assistant Dean of Students. Simcha also has extensive camping experience working at Camp Interlaken JCC in Wisconsin as well as the Herzl Camp as the Assistant Director, where he found his love and passion of windsurfing, ultimate frisbee, and working with youth. Simcha has an executive master's in Jewish educational leadership from Hebrew Union College - Institute of Religion and a master's concentration in Israel education from the iCenter. He also has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in Hebrew, Jewish studies, and Middle Eastern studies. Simcha lives in Minnetonka with his wife, Julie, and their three kids, Rory, Eden, and Lilah.
Dalia Davis, M.A., Grades 7-8 Jewish Studies Teacher, Dalia double majored in Jewish history and dance at Barnard College prior to studying at Israel’s Nishmat Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. She has an M.A. in Jewish education and a certificate in Talmud and Halacha from Yeshiva University’s Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies for Women. Prior to joining the Heilicher faculty, Dalia taught at Heritage Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts, and served on the Jewish education/chinuch/חינוך staff at Camp Ramah in New England. She also served as Head of Torah Study Hall/Rosh Beit Midrash/ראש בית מדרש for the Merkavah Women’s Torah Institute in Berkeley, California, and has taught several courses for the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. Dalia is the creator of Beit Midrash in Motion, a fully embodied approach to Jewish text study. Dalia is blessed to be married to Rabbi Max Davis and to have four amazing daughters, Revaya, Hodaya, Tifferet, and Kalaniya.
Wendy Goldberg, Jewish Studies Consultant, 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 she served as the Director of Spiritual Engagement at Shir Tikvah Congregation. She also leads Shir Harmony, a women's a cappella 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 University. Wendy is a Minneapolis native and parent of two Heilicher alumni.
Elena Levitt, M.A., M.A.Ed., Grades 4-5 Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher, earned her B.A. in Hebrew letters and M.A.Ed. from American Jewish University. She also earned her B.A. in Political Science and Journalism and M.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Jewish Studies from the University of Memphis. Elena has worked in formal and informal education in both teaching and administrative capacities in Memphis, Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Minneapolis. Elena joined the Heilicher faculty in 2007. She is very happy to have come home to St. Louis Park with her husband Matt to raise their two amazing daughters. She has a great passion for sharing the breadth and depth of Jewish learning with her students. In her free time Elena enjoys reading, walking, and spending time with family and friends.
Naama Rodrigues Garcia, Bat Sherut, recently fulfilled her national service for Israel working in a kindergarten for children with developmental disabilities. She enjoys drawing, editing, animating, and watching films.
Maayan Scholder, Grades 2 and 6-8 Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher, was born and raised in Gedera, Israel, where she taught elementary education for the past 11 years. A recognized leader in Israel’s education system, Maayan pioneered a unique chavruta partnered learning method for successfully teaching Jewish Studies to grade-school students and has served in many educational leadership positions such as pedagogical coordinator and field studies facilitator. Maayan holds a B.A. in criminology from Bar Ilan University and studied elementary education at Achva College with a focus on Hebrew linguistics. Furthermore, she has a special accreditation in teaching Israeli Jewish Culture from the prestigious Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Having recently moved from Israel to the Twin Cities with her family, Maayan is excited to join the Heilicher family.
Hadassa Slager, Kindergarten and Grade 4 Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher, was born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She made aliyah to Israel and studied and worked there for 11 years. Hadassah moved to Baltimore with her family 17 years ago and then relocated to the Twin Cities in 2006. She has taught Judaics, Hebrew, and ESL in the Netherlands, Israel, Baltimore, and here in the Twin Cities. She most recently taught International Baccalaureate Hebrew language at St. Louis Park High School, where many Heilicher alumni were among her students.
Barbara Taragan, M.A., Grade 1 Hebrew and Jewish Studies Teacher, earned a B.A. in child psychology and elementary education from the University of Minnesota, a B.A. in English literature from the Ben-Gurion University, and an M.A. in Jewish studies from Gratz College. Barbara joined the Heilicher faculty in 1991 and spent a sabbatical in 2005-06 participating in the Senior Educators Program at the Melton Centre at the Hebrew University. Barbara lived in Israel for twenty-five years where she taught English at the Eshel Hanasi High School. Since returning to the United States, Barbara has been teaching at both Heilicher and the Minneapolis Talmud Torah. She is the proud parent of three children — Maayan, Afek, and Yamit — and proud grandma/savta/סבתא to Gal, Elah, Einav, Almog, Noa, and Orly.