A New Extraordinary Team

Meet the Education Team, 5775

I know, we’re still a month away from Rosh Hashanah (starts the evening of Wed., Sept. 24), but it feels like a new year is starting! In two weeks of orientation and setting up our new educational environments, these folks have already shown themselves to be curious, deep thinkers, and full of ideas – just like our children.


Amy Barriger (Morah Amy)

Amy is excited to begin her second year working at the Jewish enrichment center as the Shalom Chaverim educator. During the week, Amy can be found building, painting, exploring and learning with her class of three-year olds at Bright Horizons of Evanston. Amy graduated from Cornell University in 2011 and is currently pursuing her masters in early childhood education/special education at UIC. In her increasingly rare spare time, Amy enjoys trying out new cupcake recipes, sewing, and finding great children’s literature to share with her students. She can’t wait to begin this new year at the JEC filled with challah baking, grape-juice making, Alef-bet stamping and synagogue exploring.


Miriam Engel (Morah Miryam)

I grew up in South Carolina and Seattle, but moved to Chicago five years ago to attend the School of the Art Institute where I received both my Bachelor’s degrees, one in Painting and Drawing and the other in Visual and Critical Studies.  I love to paint, ride my bicycle, listen to music, and travel whenever I can!  I previously led museum tours and family workshops at Chicago’s Art Institute and am excited to be using art as a valuable medium for education once again.


Grace Gleason (Morah Channah)photo (57)

Hi, I’m Grace Gleason, a.k.a Morah Channah. I’m thrilled to be an educator at the Jewish Enrichment Center, where I feel I can live out my commitment to nurturing and valuing a plurality of voices in the Jewish tradition. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and recently earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago in Religious Studies. At the UofC, I also worked for the Institute for the Next Jewish Future’s jU Chicago, a students’ organization, taught Sunday school, and taught creative writing in CPS elementary schools. I’m interested in alternatives to standardized education in many areas, and I spent this summer working on The Arete Project, a new experimental leadership program for young women on a farm in California. In my free time I like exploring Chicago by bike and singing.



Sara Greenberg (Morah Sara)photo (59)

!שלום (shalom- hello) My name is Sara Greenberg, and I am so excited to join the education team at the Jewish Enrichment Center! I am a Memphis native, and attended Vanderbilt University for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I earned an M.Ed. in Child Studies in May 2014. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends.


Rebecca Milder (Rabbi Rebecca)photo (60)

Rebecca Milder is a rabbi and veteran Jewish educator with a Masters degree in educational administration. Her extensive leadership experience spans across formal and informal Jewish education throughout the religious spectrum. Rabbi Rebecca’s professional work has focused on innovative approaches to Jewish learning and community-building. She has revitalized religious schools, reimagined family education programs, and created new educational tracks at camp. In addition, she worked for four years at a central agency for Jewish education, building collaboration among Jewish day schools.

Next to being a mom and spouse, taking part in the unfolding of the Jewish Enrichment Center is the most fulfilling work I could ever imagine.


Sara Sandmel (Morah Sara)photo (61)

I grew up in Hyde Park and returned last year to work with the Jewish Enrichment Center. I graduated from Macalester College, where I studied Religious Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, focusing on Jewish ritual and feminist and queer theories.  In my free time I play frisbee and ride bicycles to anywhere I can swim. I’ve taught religious school since 12th grade and I’m really excited to continue working at the Jewish Enrichment Center!

Talia Shifron (Morah Talia)photo (58)

ברוכים הבאים  (Bruchim Habaim- Welcome!) I am Talia Shifron and I grew up and attended college in Bloomington, Indiana where I majored in Legal Studies and Journalism. Upon graduation, I moved to Baltimore for a one year Jewish service fellowship. I am so excited to be returning to the Midwest and working at the Jewish Enrichment Center. In my free time I love to travel, cook, and listen to music.

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