Suzanne teaches art to students from our Tot program through the eighth grade. She encourages students to embrace their imagination and learn to think outside of the box to solve problems. The students explore different artists, experiment with different art mediums, and learn how to understand and appreciate art through a Jewish lens. Suzanne has taught art at Temple Emanuel for fifteen years. She received her MAT in Communication Arts from Webster University and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Arts and a BSBA in Marketing from Washington University. Her goal is to provide all students with an educationally challenging, yet fun, experience in the art room.
Kindergarten & 1st Grade Teacher
Sarah is happy to be teaching again at Temple Emanuel. She currently teaches K-5 Elementary Music at Gateway Science Academy. Previously she taught at Indiana State University and Martin University (Indianapolis). Sarah has degrees in clarinet performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (BM), University of Michigan (MM), and University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (DMA). As a clarinetist, Sarah plays with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Louis Wind Symphony, and the woodwind quintet Xylem. Sarah is also a founding member of the Cincinnati Klezmer Project and enjoys playing klezmer any chance she gets! She’s the proud mother of a miniature pinscher named Pavel Bonaparte, who is a very good and clever boy.
Golda Cohen is a longtime Jewish educator in St. Louis. Some of her students are now the children of former students (Eek! That makes me sound old!). I love teaching Hebrew and making this ancient language come alive for the students in prayers and conversation. During the day, Golda works for a home healthcare company.
4th & 5th Grade Teacher
My name is Mark Cohen and I am excited to be returning to TE Religious School this year! I have many years of experience working with children from preschool through high school. I was the assistant director of Camp Emeth for 18 years and have taught religious school at Shaare Emeth and Temple Emanuel. I am the director of Stomp the World, a non-profit with the mission of providing educational and life-experiences outside the classroom to St. Louis area children. I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's in elementary administration. I have several years experience as a classroom teacher and work for CHADS Coalition for Mental Health as a mentor. I am looking forward to a great year ahead!
Zoey Fleisher (they/them) is a recent graduate of Webster University where they completed a bachelor’s degree in Choral/General Music Education with a minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a Webster LEADS Leadership Certificate. Zoey’s work spans across disciplines that emphasize education, non-profit development, and social justice facilitation. In addition to working at Temple Emanuel as an online Hebrew tutor, they are a part-time program designer and strategist with Tiny Windows Consulting, assistant director of Camp Indigo Point, director of the day school chavurah at SLBC, songleader and religious school teacher at Temple Beth Shalom in Columbia, MO, & and a facilitator with Cultural Leadership. Although Zoey can no longer be at Temple Emanuel in person during this school year, they are thrilled to get to be a part of the Temple Emanuel community via online instruction.
Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh
9th & 10th Grade Confirmation Class Teacher
See Rabbi Hersh' bio here.
Naama Herz is Temple Emanuel’s Shinshinit for the 2023-2024 year. A Shinshin/Shinshinit is an 18-year-old Israeli emissary who defers their army service for one year to volunteer in Jewish communities abroad with the goal of educating people of all ages about Israel and Israeli culture. They teach about Israel through creative programs and challenging discussions, bringing an authentic Israel experience to the community they serve. The Shinshinim program here in St. Louis is a partnership between the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, and local organizations like Temple Emanuel.
Naama comes to us from Kibbutz Ramot Menashe, which is in St. Louis' Partnership Region in the north of Israel. In her free time, she loves going on walks and being with her family and friends. She has two little sisters whom she loves so much and a crazy dog named Bella! Naama especially loves working out. She loves doing all kinds of workouts, from Crossfit to Pilates. She also likes running, hiking, and traveling the world.
Naama works with our Religious School students, speaks from our bima approximately once a month, and shares with us for holidays.
6th - 8th Grade Teacher
My name is Kevin Lee and I have been working in the Jewish community for about 9 or 10 years now. I got my start working at Camp Emeth and officially converted to Judaism in October of 2021. I am the co-founder of, and serve as the Assistant Director of, a volunteer-run organization called Stomp the World, whose mission is to create educational and life experiences outside of the classroom. I am excited for this Religious School year at Temple Emanuel.
My name is Alyssa Person and I will be teaching beginning Hebrew this year. In the past I have taught Hebrew at Central Reform Congregation and Temple Emanuel to 5th and 6th grade students who were learning the prayers in a Shabbat service. Although I am retired now, I worked for about 40 years teaching and caring for children 6 weeks - 9 years old. I was also a clinical social worker, including at Jewish Family & Children’s Service, for children, families, and adults. One of the most meaningful experiences I have had was an opportunity in 2015, provided by a grant from the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, to help mentor Israeli Arab teachers in an Israeli Arab bilingual Arabic-English preschool that had just begun as a pilot project. I am delighted to return to teaching Hebrew at TE this year.
TE Tots Teacher
My name is Meghan Platke and I am so excited to be joining the Temple Emanuel team! Last spring I graduated from Mizzou with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, along with a minor in Human Development & Family Science and a certificate in Multicultural Studies — and am currently preparing for graduate school. I have experience working with a wide range of age groups from my time working at Camp Emeth, but I am particularly excited about sharing Jewish experiences with this group! In my free time I love watching reality TV, reading a good book, or playing with my dog. I’m looking forward to a fun year ahead!
2nd & 3rd Grade Teacher
My name is Kaelyn and I am a graduate student at WashU studying biomedical engineering. I taught Sunday School and camp at my synagogue back home in Palo Alto, California. I love swimming and water polo, and have taught swimming to children, as well. When I'm not in the lab, taking classes, or in the pool, I enjoy going on hikes, searching for the best boba in town, and playing table-top board games. I look forward to joining the Temple Emanuel family!