Our Mensch Academy and Family Programs Team

Providing kids with a Judaism rooted in exploration

Hannah Barg

Hannah Barg

Shabbat Coordinator

Hannah Barg is a St. Louis, Missouri native with a passion for education, radio and storytelling. Hannah graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2014 with a B.A. in Anthropology. She worked in a high school for two years and then pivoted to working in radio. She has worked at StoryCorps and Israel Story (the Israeli version of This American Life!), and she currently works freelance audio producer. Hannah’s favorite thing about Mishkan? The people, stories, warmth and music of Mishkan make me grateful to contribute to helping this wonderful community thrive!

Pamela Connell

Pamela Connell

Shabbat Coordinator

Pamela hails from Ontario, Canada and has studied the Torah as an undergrad and postgraduate. Pamela used to be a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is the proud mom to three daughters. Pamela is also a full-time, professional nanny and loves knitting, painting, writing, and running. Pamela loves Mishkan for its  “authentic spirituality, genuine people, and radically supportive love in action.”

Hannah Schaeffer

Hannah Schaeffer

Program and Engagement Coordinator

Hannah is a Program and Engagement Associate at Mishkan, where she brings a helping hand and a welcoming face to our growing and vibrant community. Hannah also serves as a doula at Christopher House, where she supports young moms on Chicago’s North Side through labor, delivery and postpartum. Originally from Philadelphia, Hannah is excited to plant roots in her new Chicago home with her partner Jacob and sweet dog Shoko.

Zak Witus

Zak Witus

Shabbat Coordinator

Zak grew up in Huntington Woods, Michigan, a small suburb outside of Detroit. He attended undergrad at the University of Michigan, where he studied art history as well as cognitive science. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. Zak enjoys cerebral TV shows, political history, good food, and steering canoes.

Emily Zoller

Emily Zoller

Shabbat Coordinator

Emily Zoller is originally from just south of Boston and studied anthropology at Brandeis University. After working in education in San Francisco, Emily studied social work at The University of Chicago. In addition to her role as a social worker and therapist, Emily loves to dance, cook, read, and travel. This past summer, Emily led a trip for American high school students to study gender and sexuality in the Netherlands.