Our new Head of School, Jody Moreimi, is one month into her new role. Jody is a Beit Midrash graduate of Talmud Torah, proud wife to Tom, mother of two children, Robby (7) and Mari (3), and a lover of all things arts and education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Theater and Drama and a Master’s of Arts in Elementary Education.
In order for our broader community to get to know her better, our editors asked Jody to share more information about herself and why she is so passionate about Talmud Torah of Minneapolis!
Why do you think supplemental Jewish education such as Talmud Torah of Minneapolis is so important today?
If my background in education has taught me anything, it’s that all people are different and no two people learn in the exact same way; we need to reach students where they are. I love that families have so many options available when choosing a school for their children. But it’s important that parents who choose not to send their children to a day school, are not sacrificing a Jewish education. That’s where Talmud Torah comes in. Being able to provide an engaging and robust curriculum that also works to build strong and long-lasting relationships with all students is essential to continuation, and growth, of our Jewish community. Students are able to see and be a part of the diversity in the world and then come together with their community to strengthen the foundations of leading an intentionally Jewish life.
What role did Talmud Torah play in shaping you as the person you have become?
Although I might not have realized it until recently, Talmud Torah played an immense role in my development. Growing up, I was very involved in theater. I would have dance classes, music classes, acting classes, and/or auditions or play rehearsals nightly. Although theater was my extra curricular life, Talmud Torah was not optional for me. My parents placed a strong priority on my Jewish education and, most nights, I actually wanted to attend Talmud Torah because that’s where my friends were. I made friends at school, in theater, and in my neighborhood, but only at Talmud Torah did my friends become part of the family that I am still close with today. I learned a way to communicate with people from all backgrounds, the history of my people, and developed a strong sense of pride in being Jewish. Back then, I would never have believed it if someone told me that I would end up as the Head of School at Talmud Torah, but, looking back, my path led me exactly where I belong!
Favorite Talmud Torah memory?
There are too many to choose from! Whether it was singing the Aleph Bet song on the carpet of Missy’s room in second grade, singing along to Yefet and his accordion, having deep discussions where I felt my opinion actually mattered in Mary’s classes, or being the only one laughing at Mr. Blackman’s corny jokes, Talmud Torah memories come up daily. I just recently took a trip with five friends, four of us met at Talmud Torah. The majority of our stories or memories originated with, “Do you remember, at Talmud Torah, when…?”
What have your first impressions been of Talmud Torah as Head of School?
What a unique and amazing community we have! I’ve been having one-on-one meetings with the staff and their passion for providing our students with quality Jewish education only gets stronger with each person I meet. I also believe there is so much more to this school than people realize. The thoughtful discussions, the laughter and excitement, and the budding friendships I observe just from popping into the classrooms for short periods of time fill my heart and give me hope for the strong future of our school.
What are you looking forward to most in your role as Head of School?
I love building relationships. I look forward to getting to know the entire Talmud Torah community and our partners and supporters in the Twin Cities Jewish community. I want to dive into what is working well and what needs tweaking. I think it is very important to educate our youth in order to break down barriers in an effort to fight the ignorance that surrounds the Jewish community and manifests itself as anti-Semitism. I look forward to empowering our students to be strong Jewish leaders and advocates in all their future endeavors.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time, what’s that? As mentioned above, I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old, so much of my time is spent driving them where they need to be and making sure they are fed. To unwind, I love curling up with a good book, listening to a favorite podcast, or watching the latest super hero or Star Wars movie with my husband, Tom. Other than that, I love all things having to do with the arts, live theater especially. We live close to French Park and I enjoy going for hikes around the area with my family, friends, or alone.
Favorite family winter activity?
I would love to say either sledding or playing in the huge snow pile in our front yard with my children. That’s fun, but I much prefer coming inside, getting in warm pjs, making hot chocolate, and cuddling together during a family movie night.
If you have any questions for Jody, please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org