Youth Staff

Michael Schneider, Director of Youth & Family Engagement

Michael joined the staff of Congregation Beth Shalom as the Director of Youth & Family Engagement just before Sukkot 5783 (2022).

Michael has worked in Jewish education and programming for over 15 years. Most recently he was the Membership & Financial Administrator at Congregation Beth Am (Buffalo Grove), where he also taught Hebrew school and led the youth group. Prior to that, Michael was the Director of Youth Engagement and Associate Executive Director at Makom Solel Lakeside (Highland Park). 

His education includes a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies, graduate coursework in Elementary Education, and an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. Michael also completed the Certificate in Jewish Leadership program through Spertus Institute.

As a Jewish youth professional, Michael enjoys bringing children of all ages together for exciting events, creating community, and offering an inclusive safe space for kids to feel at home.

He lives nearby with his two young children, supportive wife, and a rescue dog. When not hanging out in the Gloss Youth Lounge at CBS, he enjoys spending time with family, watching soccer, listening to podcasts, and binging the latest series on Netflix. Next time you’re at CBS, don’t forget to stop by the youth lounge to say hi and play a quick game of foosball!

Melissa Kaplan, CBS USY Advisor

Melissa Kaplan grew up in Buffalo Grove and spent many summers attending and working in Jewish camping. Melissa graduated from Washington University in St. Louis where she earned a degree in Middle School and Secondary Education and a Minor in Jewish Studies. While in school, she worked as a JUF Lewis Intern.  Melissa currently works as the SVP, Head of Total Rewards and HR Business Partner at Kemper Insurance in Chicago and resides in Northbrook with her husband, Jordan, and 2 kids, Blake and Taylor.