Yoni Binus, Head of School (BA in History, Boston university; M.ED in counseling, Boston University, School of Education), is beginning his fourth year at the Day School and his third as Upper School Director. He has also just completed his first year at the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) an AVI CHAI Foundation program at Jewish Theological Seminary preparing aspiring leaders for Jewish Day School. He came to HMJDS as Upper School Counselor after three years as a high school counselor at The Webb Schools, an independent boarding school in Southern California. Prior to working in California, Yoni was a Residence Director at Boston University where he oversaw and managed a dorm of six hundred undergraduate students, a faculty-in-residence, and a team of Resident Assistants. His experience and knowledge in the field of human development along with his work in diverse academic settings brings a foundation of perspective on preparing students for their world beyond the Day School.
Helen Siegel, Associate Head of School (BA and MSEd, Queens College, City University of New York), is beginning her twenty-sixth year at the Day School. She has enjoyed a wide range of teaching experiences in three different states, including over 14 years in public education in New York City. She has taught ESL, Spanish, junior high school English, and more. Always involved in Jewish education as a supplementary school Hebrew and Sunday school teacher, Helen joined the Day School faculty as an opportunity to integrate general education with Hebrew and Jewish studies. At the Day School Helen served as a third grade teacher and Division Coordinator for grades 3-6, and now begins her twelfth year as a Day School administrator. She has served on an accreditation team for ISACS and is a member of the JCRC’s Speakers Bureau, educating the broader community about the Holocaust. As a master/mentor teacher for adult distance learners, she worked with local Jewish educators in the Gratz College Covenant Foundation’s Jewish Education Certificate program. She completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Principal’s Institute in the summer of 2005, and in 2012 attended a second Harvard Graduate School Institute for Independent School Leadership. As a trained Asset Champion and current member of the executive board for St. Louis Park’s Children First initiative, she is a liaison to the wider community in her support of all students. She looks forward to another rewarding year working with the students, families, and faculty in the outstanding program at the Day School.
Etan Weiss, Jewish Life and Hebrew Director (BA in Philosophy and Jewish Studies, Hofstra University; MA in Jewish Education, William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies, Pardes Institute, Jerusalem), recently joined the HMJDS faculty and administration. Etan brings with him depth of experience and knowledge from his tenure as the Chair of the Jewish Text Department at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville MD and vast training from the Pardes Educators Program at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem as well as his Masters work in Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Etan is joined by his wife Amy (Program and Development Director at Yachad) and his daughters Ya’ara (5) and Nava (2).
Bat Sheva Berman, Hebrew Coordinator (Graduate Teachers Seminary in Beersheva, Israel), has been the Hebrew Coordinator as well as a Hebrew Teacher at HMJDS since she came sixteen years ago. As Hebrew coordinator she wrote much of the Hebrew Language curriculum for the Upper School. Three years ago she began the program Limudai Kodesh in Hebrew, a Torah study class conducted entirely in Hebrew, for which she wrote the curriculum for grades 5-7. Before coming to HMJDS 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 15 years. Over the past ten years, she has continued 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. Batsheva was born and raised in Israel, and served in the Israeli Army in an education unit, where she provided programming in development towns for teenagers and adults.
Ryan Bradley, IT Helpdesk Technician (BS Information Systems / Minor Educational Leadership, Kansas State University, BS Cybersecurity & Information Assurance, Utica College), is beginning his first year at the Day School. Interests include: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cybersecurity, Cryptography, among others. Ryan and his wife enjoy camping, biking, and going on road trips to various places throughout the U.S. They are expecting their first child in fall 2015.
Diane Greenberger, Executive Assistant to the Head of School and Associate Head of School has been involved in the day school 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, enjoy camping and family bikes rides.
Andrea Johnson, Development Assistant (Diploma in Office Administration, Office Services, KRS Computer Business School), joined the Day School more than 14 years ago and is currently working towards a degree in Community Development at Minneapolis Community Technical College. Drea has three children, Leo, who is a culinary arts student at Hennepin Technical College; Loni, a 2011 HMJDS graduate and freshman at Augsburg College; and Amarah, who is in seventh grade at HMJDS. Andrea’s family is not Jewish but she believes that having her children attend the Day School has allowed her entire family the opportunity to understand other cultures. Andrea has a strong appreciation for the Day School community because they welcomed her and her family with open arms. Andrea credits the success of her family reaching their personal, education and experiential goals to the relationships her children formed with staff, faculty and parents of the day school. Drea values the Day School community and appreciates how the community supports one another which is why she is continuing her education in community development.
Tsilya Krampf, Accounting Coordinator (BS in Accounting and Business, Minsk State University; Accounting Clerk Certification, Minneapolis Technical College), is in her first year at the Day School. Tsilya is a member of the support team and focuses on accounting needs of the school, including payroll and accounts payable. She also serves as a benefits coordinator. Her experiences include providing accounting support for over 20 years for a non-profit organization as well as bookkeeping duties for companies in other industries. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling.
ELLEN LARSON MARTY, Business Director (BS in Accounting at Edgewood College in Madison, WI), recently joined HMJDS after years of working in a variety of industries. Her experiences include a number of years in public accounting, managing the finances and investments of a small venture capital firm, consulting for non-profit and religious organizations, as well as management accounting, auditing and tax work. Ellen is excited to put her expertise and talents to work serving the administration, staff, parents and students at HMJDS. Outside interests include gardening and landscaping her yard, outdoor photography, spending time with friends and family, reading, visiting her son, Jerry and his wife Laura in Boston, and playing with her fur children (cats Zoey and Stella, and dog Sophie).
N. Melegari (Mel) Newman, Office Administrator (BS in Communication Arts-major in Theater & Dance, minor in Music, University of Wisconsin-Superior), is beginning her twentieth year at the Day School. She came to the Day School because she feels that facilitating the education of children (our future) is important and rewarding. Mel and her husband, Scott, have three children and will be hosting an exchange student from Brazil for the 15-16 school year. 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.
Juli Gordon Olson, Technology Director (BS in Elementary Ed./Minor in Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin, MA Education, St. Mary’s University), is extremely excited to be back for her 10th year at HMJDS. Prior to coming to the Day School, Juli taught third, then sixth grade in the Wayzata schools before enjoying nine years at an educational materials company where she developed supplemental educational materials for children ages 3–14. Her Master’s project focused on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and developing a website relating to the topic. Juli looks forward to working on the HMJDS technology infrastructure as well as continuing to work with HMJDS faculty to finding meaningful ways to integrate technology into our curricula. She lives in Maple Grove with her husband Dave and daughters, Addie and Quinn.
Louise Schoenberger, Admissions Associate (BA in Psychology, University of Michigan), serves as our Lead Parent Ambassador. Louise works directly with prospective parents and connects them to the HMJDS community. As the Lead Parent Ambassador, Louise also trains and assists existing HMJDS parents to be strong advocates for the school in the greater community. Louise’s background is in recruiting, operations, and sales. Louise, her husband, Steven, and their four children live in St. Louis Park. Their eldest two children are in 3rd and 1st grade at HMJDS. The younger two are both at Beth El’s Aleph Preschool.
Rebecca Skelton, Institutional Advancement Director (BA in History, University of Wisconsin; Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs), is beginning her fifth year at the Day School. Prior to joining the day school, 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. They have three children.
Ethan Tarshish, Admissions and Outreach Coordinator (BA in Film Studies, Jewish Studies, and Writing, University of Minnesota), enters into his tenth year at the Day School. A Day School alum himself and father of a current Day School student, he has been active within the Jewish community throughout his whole life. A self-proclaimed “comic book aficionado,” Ethan brings his love of writing and storytelling to the Day School, injecting adventure and excitement into many different facets of Day School life. Ethan writes and publishes an award winning comic book series, “Woe Is Oz”, as well as a host of other writing endeavors that can be found at ethantarshish.com. Ethan enjoys books, films, writing, and his ever-shifting journey into mystery with his wife Julie, and twin six-year-olds, Charlie and Oscar.
Julie Ziessman, Admissions and Outreach Director (BS in Elementary Education, minor in Political Science, University of Wisconsin), is beginning her sixteenth year at HMJDS. Julie started her career at HMJDS teaching fifth grade. After teaching fifth grade, she spent twelve years teaching kindergarten. She loves to share stories about HMJDS! 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 two HMJDS students, Emily and Zoe.