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

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 Manager

Robin Cohen, Seidenberg Family Director of Teen and Youth Engagement

Robin Cohen is excited to join BHBE as the Seidenberg Family Director of Teen and Youth Engagement. Robin grew up in the Chicago area and was actively involved in Jewish summer camp. Robin’s professional career started by teaching kindergarten and Sunday school at the JCC in Buffalo Grove. She spent several years working in various education positions from teaching elementary and middle school students, to teaching at the college level and conducting educational research. Robin holds a B.S. in Education, a M.S. Ed in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Aesthetics and Teacher Education. She and her husband David live in Glenview Illinois with their three children, Hayley, Maya, and Jocelyn. In her free time, Robin enjoys baking, kayaking, and spending time taking walks at the lake.

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!

Jay Michaels, Caterer

Jay Michaels is a resident of River Forest. He has 2 children, 18 & 15 who live with their mother in Michigan, but come to visit often. He has traveled and lived in over 10 cities, always affiliating with a conservative congregation. Jay has been actively engaged in the many communities he has lived in, serving on boards and various committees.   Many of these congregations, he has also supported the kitchen by organizing and leading the holiday & program cooking events.   Prior to joining BHBE, he ran the kitchen for Temple Har Zion preparing morning minyan breakfasts, special program food and some Saturday kiddushes.

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.