Staff

Michael Kahn, Executive Director

As a long-time teacher and administrator in Chicago-area public and Jewish day schools, Michael has been in awe of BHBE’s community. His background in business, along with his 27 years in education, including, most recently, 10 years in administration will be instrumental in supporting the opportunities that are here now and those that await us. Michael truly wants to be a part of all the great things BHBE stands for.

On a personal note, Michael has a strong history here. His wife grew up as a member of Beth Hillel and, as a teenager, Michael participated in the Beth Hillel USY group. In addition, Beth Hillel’s cantor officiated at his wedding almost 26 years ago. They have three wonderful children and happily live just a few miles away.

Aaron Frankel, Director of Education & Early Childhood Programming

Aaron specializes in designing experiences and developing materials for Jewish youth and young adults. He is the author of a range of Hebrew textbooks and curricula in use at religious schools around the country, including the Kavanah Prayer Curriculum and the My Hebrew Phrase Book Series.

As a songwriter, singer and guitar player, Aaron has produced and performed both Jewish and secular music. Aaron has a Masters in Curriculum Development from DePaul University. He and his partner Jenny live in Chicago’s Sauganash neighborhood.

Jackie Ernest, Office Administrator

Jackie began her career at Beth Hillel in 2003. Throughout these years, she has welcomed all of us with open arms and with a dedication to service everyone. Jackie is the proud mom of 3 grown children and celebrates with her family as often as she can! Jackie is thrilled to be a part of the BHBE community and loves seeing and chatting with everyone!

Sharon Fine, Event Planner

Sharon comes to BHBE with an extensive and diverse background in Catering, Sales, Marketing and Event Planning. 

She grew up on Chicago’s South Side, the daughter and granddaughter of German Jewish immigrants. Her parents and grandparents were active founders / members of Habonim (the builders) Synagogue, a place of solace for survivors and their families. 

Sharon has 2 married “children” Seth and Sari, and 6 grandchildren. Everyone calls her Omi

Coincidentally,  Sharon and her family lived on Long Rd., across from BHBE. Sari attended preschool at BHBE and Seth and Sari, both, attended New Trier. 

Sharon’s diverse work background includes: Teaching in Glencoe; fundraising for Michael Reese Hospital’s Dysfunctioning Child Center; Business Owner of Confectionately Yours, Glenview and Deerfield; U of C Ctr. for Advanced Medicine, Event Planner;  Wrigley Bldg., 410 Club, Catering & Event Mgr.; Hilton, Catering Mgr.; Lawry’s Restaurants, Catering and Event Mgr.; ILHMEC, Group Sales Mgr. 

Sharon’s favorite pastimes include: feeding hummingbirds on her balcony; doing anything creative, especially if it has to do with the arts, travel and cruising. 

 “My most memorable vacation was taking my grandson, Leo, to Germany to see where his ancestors lived and died. We went to the farm town, where my grandfather was the only Kosher butcher for all surrounding towns. Our last day in Germany, we were in Frankfurt where my father and his family had lived. As we passed “another” Jewish cemetery, we agreed we had seen enough cemeteries, but something made us change our minds.  This was the oldest we had seen. The walls had small plaques embedded with names of the deceased, and where they had died. I was at one end of the cemetery, looking for my dad’s relative’s names. Leo, my grandson, called me from the other end. He asked, what was my mother’s brother’s name. I told him it was Alfred Hess, and I added, “forget about looking. The whole family has been looking for him for years!” Amazingly, Leo had found a marker acknowledging Alfred’s life and death.

Of Note: Sharon is a strong believer in “beshert.” She believes things happen for a reason, ie. Leo finding Alfred, and the open position for an Event Planner at BHBE! As much as she brings experience and creativity to her new role, she knows working at BHBE is beshert. She’s loving being here, and meeting so many new people! If you haven’t met her, please stop by the office and say “hello! She wants to meet YOU!

Marcie Eskin, Librarian

Marcie joined the synagogue staff as its librarian in 1999. She holds an undergraduate degree in government from Cornell University and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Dominican University, River Forest, IL.

A member of the Association of Jewish Libraries, Marcie has served in several leadership roles, including Chicago Chapter president. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of Jewish books and resources with Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah congregants, students, faculty and professional staff. Marcie and her husband, Rick reside in Evanston, IL.

Percy Ferguson, Maintenance Supervisor

Percy was born and raised in Evanston, IL. He is married and has two children and three grandchildren. He previously worked as maintenance director for Bnai Emunah in Skokie for 20 years. Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah was very fortunate to have Percy accept a position following the consolidation of the two North Shore synagogues in June 2004.

Percy loves his work and always has a smile. He is extremely patient and knowledgeable about synagogue building and grounds issues. Percy enjoys playing the drums, spending time with his family, and getting a good night’s sleep when he is not working at BHBE.